Growth rose for a second month straight in Africa during April of 2010, reflecting a trend that we also saw for the month elsewhere around the world. Although we track data for only seven of the continent’s countries, five of those were up, according to our latest Global Monitor.
Morocco rose to the top, with 168,640 new monthly active users in April, about half again as many as it gained in March. But in the same north African region, Tunisia’s growth fell by about a quarter, to 101,220. Still, Tunisia is reporting about half as many total Facebook users, 1.4 million, as the total 2.8 million internet users the World Bank reports the country having, putting its 14 percent overall penetration in a new light.
South Africa was the real surprise in April, quadrupling its growth from March — although in retrospect the rise shouldn’t come as any real surprise. Note that South Africa’s growth rate is still only 4.9 percent, the second-slowest in the below group of seven following Nigeria. Chances are good that we’ll see it speed up even more in coming months.
Ghana more than doubled its growth, coming in with 58,160 new users, in turn the highest growth rate at 14.9 percent. But like Morocco, Ghana also has an eastern neighbor whose growth on Facebook slowed in April: Nigeria, which dropped to a crawl with 42,580 new users but over six times Ghana’s population. For the moment, a high penetration in either country is not a sure bet, with Nigeria struggling even to reach one percent.
Kenya also accelerated, if only slightly; its penetration, at 1.7 percent, is about even with Ghana’s 1.9 percent. Finally, tiny Mauritius is the stand-out of the group, adding 13,760 new users and nearly hitting 15 percent penetration. Here’s the full chart:
Counting all of the above countries, Africa’s total penetration rose to an even 3 percent in April, with 11,412,240 monthly active users visiting Facebook. Although that seems low, keep in mind that Africa’s overall penetration — for the countries that actually allow Facebook — is rising at a faster rate than Asia’s, although the latter’s contribution in MAU is far higher.
Our full Global Monitor report is part of our Inside Facebook Gold subscription service. It covers nearly 100 countries and includes growth rates and forward projections for both individual countries and world regions.