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Kenya has the best e-infrastructure in Africa, study finds

By Betty Njeru | September 29th 2021

Infographic: Kenya ranks 79th globally in DQL index. [2021 DQL-Surfshark]

Kenya has the best e-infrastructure in Africa, the 2021 Digital Quality of Life (DQL) study has revealed.

This means that the country enjoys the best digital technology and computational resources in the African continent. Mauritania and Tanzania come in at second and third positions in Africa.

The study, released on September 29, 2021 also ranked Kenya the third-best country in Africa in the DQL index, after South Africa and Mauritania.

The study, conducted by Surfshark – a cybersecurity company –  assesses how countries fair digitally world over, based on five key pillars, among them electronic infrastructure, internet quality and affordability, electronic security and e-government.

“The study suggests that as much as 85 per cent of individuals use internet in Kenya,” a statement by Surfshark read in part.


The East African nation also ranks second-best in the continent in regard to provision of e-security, after Nigeria. Mauritania comes a close third.

But, the study suggests that e-security in Kenya is 10 per cent better than then global average. On this, Kenya ranks number 54 of out of 110 countries, whose data was analysed.

Infographic: Kenya ranks third best in Africa in 2021 DQL index. [Surfshark]

Internet quality

The country is performing poorly in terms of internet quality, having not featured among the top 10 in the continent. Kenya's internet quality dropped by 49 per cent compared to 2020.

It also ranks position 108 in the world and is one of the worst-performing regionally.

 “Kenya has a similar GDP per capita as Nigeria, but the internet quality of both countries differs substantially. Nigeria ranks 56th in the pillar (globally), while Kenya barely makes it to the top 110,” the study noted.

“People in Kenya have to work almost 13 hours to afford the cheapest broadband internet package, which is twice as much as the global average. Moreover, people in South Africa have to work 9 times less than in Kenya to afford mobile internet and eight times less to pay for broadband internet.”

Internet affordability

Kenya is also doing badly as far as internet affordability is concerned, coming in at number 11 in Africa.

“Internet affordability could be better. It falls in the last 10 per cent of the index, at 101st place,” the research notes.

Angola, South Africa and Tanzania are leading the pack on internet affordability in Africa.

According to this year’s research, Kenya dropped two positions from 77 to 79th in the world in the DQL ranking.

In a press statement, Surfshark CEO Vytautas Kaziukonis explained: “Digital opportunities have proved to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, stressing the importance for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies,”  

It is the third index to be conducted, putting Denmark, South Korea and Finland in the first, second and third positions globally in the DQL rankings.


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