Nigeria scores a big one above United Kingdom (UK) in the latest ranking of global information technology access. According to statistics released by market research and statistics specialists, digitXplus, the digital Unit of mediareachOMD Nigeria, the country has recorded a 200% growth in internet users between 2009 and 2013. The figures also indicated that Nigeria, which tied at 55 million internet users with United Kingdom in 2012, took 14% leap garnering about 62.4 million internet users above UK with paltry increase of just two million (57 million) users in 2013.
The report released exclusively in Lagos last week quoted Euromonitor as its primary source and analysed digital growth across the world from 2009 – 2013 as follows: Digital users grew across the globe from 1.748 billion to 2.677 billion showing a growth rate of 53% 2009/13. Of these figures, emerging and developing countries took the lead in the digital users over developed countries growing from 1.011 billion users in 2009 to 1.834 billion users in 2013 as against developed countries growth rate of 737 million users in 2009 to just 843 million users in 2013. That is a growth of 81% to 14% (2009/13) in favour of emerging and developing countries.
The report further breaks the digital users by region. While it recorded 721 million users to 1.214 billion 68% user growth rate 2009/13 for Asia Pacific region ; it shows steady growth in the Americas with the following figures: 426 million users in 2009 to 573 million users by 2013 representing 34% growth rate in 2009/13.
The report has it that the whole of Europe managed 28% growth in 2009/13 covered by the report. This represents an increase in number of users in Europe from 436 million in 2009 to 559 million in 2013. The Middle East and Africa leads the other regions of the world in digital users growth with an encouraging 112% growth rate in 2009/13.
In just five years, the region more than double its number of internet users. The digital users of the region grew from 145 million users in 2009 to 308 million users representing 112% growth rate as against the rest of the world. More importantly, the sub-Saharan Africa sub-region where Nigeria belongs experienced an astronomical 143% growth moving from a paltry 61 million users in 2009 to 148 million users by 2013.
Between the years covered by the review/report, Nigeria maintained its lead in the growth number of internet users in Africa. The country moved from 30.9 million users in 2009 to a whopping 62.4 million users in 2013 representing 102% growth rate in 2009/13. Egypt is second behind Nigeria with 39.7 million users in 2013 moving from its 19.5 million users recorded in 2009. This represents 103% growth rate in 2009/13 for the politically troubled country.
However, Nigeria’s lead in terms of volume can be said to be due to the country’s increasing awareness and adoption in Digital and not as a result of swelling population. Whereas, Nigeria experienced just 14% growth margin in the five years under scrutiny, Ethiopia grossed 23%,, Mozambique and Congo 22% each, while Zambia and Kenya experienced 20% and 18% growth margin respectively. Sahara pearl, Morocco experienced the lowest internet usage growth rate in the continent with just 4% in five years.
According to the Managing Director of digitXplus, Mr. Patrick Gomes, with 62.4 million internet users, Nigeria surely has huge marketing opportunities window waiting to be explored. The growing number of internet users in the country has increased penetration of the Digital as a medium from 27% in 2011 to 41% in 2013.
What is more, the digitXplus report indicated that based on AMPS (All Media & Product Survey) 2013, reach of internet (which is defined with recency of access, which is one month in case of Internet) registered a 9 point increase over previous year, taking the reach to 27% in 2013.
digitXplus is a digital Unit of MediaReach OMD, the West and Central Africa’s No.1 independent media specialist as per RECMA.