The Internet penetration rate in Zimbabwe is rising slowly but more needs to be done for the entire population to have access.

The Population of Zimbabwe

According to the world bank, Zimbabwe’s population was 14.98 million as of January 2021. There was an increase of 223 000 (+1.5%) to the population between January 2020 and January 2021. Of that 15 million population, 52.3% is female while 47.7% is male. The population that lives in urban areas is 32.3% while the rest (67.7%) is living in the rural areas. 

What is the Current Internet Usage in Zimbabwe?

In January 2021, there were 5.01million internet users in Zimbabwe. It was an increase of 4.2% or 203 000 new users from January of 2020 to January of 2021. The World Bank is yet to publish the most recent statistics. 

With the latest figures, the internet penetration rate in Zimbabwe was standing at 33.4% in January 2021. 

What Devices Are Mostly Used?

About 87% of Zimbabwe’s internet users are mostly doing it on mobile devices. Cellphones to be precise. That also means a bigger number of people are using mobile data as a means to access the internet. Individuals using smartphones account for 52% of the people using cellular phones.  This is very low in comparison to neighbouring South Africa which is already at 90% smartphone penetration. 

Internet Penetration in Schools

32% of the schools in Zimbabwe have internet connectivity. Again, most of these schools are in urban areas. A big chunk (68%) of schools in marginalized communities still do not have internet access. 

Why The Internet Is Important

We are in the age of digitalization. Almost everything we use daily now requires digital literacy. Once digital literacy is mastered it opens up a world of possibilities for an individual. The average person can now be able to participate in the digital economy and thrive in it. 

Upskilling In The Digital Era

Today there are many online education resources and quite a lot are for free. You can now learn to code from scratch without prior knowledge. Platforms like FreeCodeCamp have produced developers that now work for companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Netflix. 

The certification is totally free of charge! LinkedIn Learning is offering a number of courses to learn new skills for free or next to nothing with a certification to boost one’s CV. There are dozens of free learning platforms that you can use to upskill yourself.

The World Wide Web As A Global Market Place

We have seen a growing and emerging industry in the name of eCommerce. It still needs more players and the players need more consumers. We have seen a lot of “overnight’ global sensations who were discovered on the internet while producing content.

A 9-year-old makes over $20million on YouTube from just playing with toys. One young Zimbabwean sold digital artwork for almost $4 000 dollars online and he is still creating more. The world wide web is now a global market place but more people need to hop on to take advantage of this new world. Easy access to the internet is more crucial than ever.