Countries in Africa generally have some of the most expensive mobile data in the world due to several factors, including the unavailability of telecoms infrastructure and high taxation in the African telecom industry by governments.
Many telecom firms may hold key monopolies and simply charge more for data because they can.
In 2020, the median price for 1 GB of mobile data in Africa was more than $5 while the price per gig in the European Union (EU) was closer to $3.5 per gig, and while data is getting cheaper, there are still many countries in Africa with incredibly high mobile data prices.
Increasing access to the internet is a key target for many developing nations as it promotes access to education and access to financial services, among other benefits. Cheap data is therefore important for many developing countries in Africa.
According to Statista.com, here are the 15 African nations with the most expensive mobile data, ranked by how much 1 GB of data costs in USD.
The 15 African Countries with the Most Expensive Mobile Data ranked in 2021:
15. Guinea-Bissau – $4.41
14. Burkina Faso – $4.52
13. Togo – $4.69
12. Cape Verde – $4.78
11. Gabon – $4.82
10. Madagascar – $5.14
9. Mauritania – $5.65
8. Gambia – $5.86
7. Seychelles – $8.64
6. Central African Republic – $9.03
5. Namibia – $22.37
4. Chad – $23.33
3. Malawi – $25.46
2. Sao Tome and Principe – $30.97
- Equatorial Guinea – $49.67
Equatorial Guinea on the West Coast of Central Africa has the most expensive mobile data on the continent where 1 GB costs nearly $50, and is probably the most expensive 1 GB of data you can buy anywhere in the world.
The country has a relatively small population of just under 2-million people and generally high incomes per capita due to the country being rich in oil. The average salary in 2022 is around $700 per month, based on surveys.
All the countries in the top five have an average data cost of over $20 per 1 GB, with the 6th most expensive data, in the Central African Republic, being almost $11 cheaper.