An annual report released by global digital agencies, We Are Social and Hootsuite, has revealed that 10,110,000 Ghanaians are using the internet.
The figure represents 35% of the total 29,150,000 population of the West African country and is an increase of two million on the figure recorded in January 2017.
The rise of Ghanaian internet users was replicated across the continent with Africa recording the fastest growth rates in Internet penetration, with the number of internet users across the continent increasing by more than 20% compared to 2017.
The ‘Digital in 2018’ report also shows that over half of the world’s population is now online (4.021 billion), with the latest data showing that nearly a quarter of a billion new users came online for the first time in 2017.
Smartphones and services boost internet use in Ghana
Much of Ghana’s growth in internet users was attributed to more affordable smartphones and mobile data plans.
According to the report, the country currently has 5.6 million active social media users, 19.53 million mobile users and 4.90 active social media users – an increase of 22% (one million) on the January 2017 figure.
It also revealed that Ghana has 9.28 million active mobile internet users representing 32% of the total population.
The survey employing respondents self-reported activity also found that the Ghanaian averagely spent three hours 46 minutes using the internet via any device and two hours 56 minutes using social medial via any device.
Internet speed in Ghana
The average internet speed via fixed connections was found to be 19.2mbps while average internet speed via mobile connections was 9.23 mbps.
The report found that most Ghanaians favoured mobile phones for browsing the internet as compared to laptops/desktops and tablet devices.
The most popular device for browsing the internet in Ghana was found to be the mobile phone, favoured by 75% of the population (an increase of +7% of the January 2017 figure) while 22% used either laptops of desktop computers and tablets with 3%.
Most popular social media platforms
With 5.60million active social media users representing (19%) of the total population, Whatsapp was found to be the dominant social media platform with 30% of the population using the popular text messaging application owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
Whatsapp was trailed by Facebook, Yooutube, Facebook Messenger and Instagram with 28%, 15%, 15% and 12% respectively.
The total number of internet users accessing social media via mobile was found to be 4.90 million.
Demographic of social media usage
The report found that males outnumbered females in the usage of the two most dominant social media platforms in the country.
Of the 5.60 monthly active Facebook users, 36% had profiles declared as female and 64% had profiles declared as male with 88% (male and female) accessing the platform via mobile phones.
Surprisingly of the 1.30m (4% of the total population) active monthly Instagram users 64% were male while 36% were female users.
Key global insights
The number of internet users in 2018 is 4.021 billion, up 7 percent year-on-year
The number of social media users in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year
The number of mobile phone users in 2018 is 5.135 billion, up 4 percent year-on-year
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan