The big five – your survival guide to the numbers behind the stories

Do you feel bombarded by big data? Or floored by forecasts? Here are eLearning Africa 2014’s Top 5 vital statistics and trend predications. They are the essential background to some of hottest topics we will be discussing in Kampala.

Have we got it right? Let us know what we might have missed – or have you got a killer stat you’d like to share? Comment below!

by Adam Salkeld

1.    Growth in Consumer Internet Traffic in Africa

So much of what we do and hope to do in eLearning is driven by the Internet. Africa will continue to see very strong growth in traffic. If you like big numbers here are some:

2012:  410 Petabytes/Month – That’s 410,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
2017:  2.4 Exabytes/Month – That’s 2,400,000,000,000,000,000 bytes

In case you got lost counting zeros that’s a sixfold increase.

2. Going Mobile

How we access the Internet is changing and increasingly it is via a mobile connection. If you need convincing that mobile learning has potential, look at these latest projections for the spectacular growth of mobile data in Africa. For educators it may well be a case of “follow the user”.

Subscriptions chart Adam

3. Smartphones

Until now smartphone use in Africa has been lower than in other parts of the world. That is changing.  Nearly half a billion African smartphone subscriptions are forecast by 2018. This rise will be driven by better data networks, economic growth and new hardware, such as Microsoft’s 4Afrika handset.

Smartphone Adam

 4. Video

As you will see at eLA 2014, video is one of the most exciting new languages of learning.

The YouTube Generation is alive and kicking in Africa and it is getting stronger all the time. If we look at the projected growth of video traffic on Africa’s Internet, it is huge. Get ready for some more seriously big numbers.

Video Adam

If you prefer, that’s a growth from 230 Petabytes per month to 1.8 Exabytes per month.

5. Youth

Finally, as you arrive in Uganda for eLA 2014 you will be coming to a country with the second youngest population in the world. Only Niger has a more youthful population profile. The average age in Uganda is 15.5 and a staggering 78% of the population is under 30.

Welcome to the Future.


Informa Telecoms and Media
Cisco VNI
CIA World Factbook

Note: Forecasts 1 and 4 represent MEA region

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