Only 0.27% of the world’s top 1 million websites are hosted in Africa

Africa, with its over 1 billion people, has reached a 13.5% Internet penetration rate, and there are plenty of big websites about the continent. But where are those sites hosted? It would be safe to assume that there are big sites about Africa hosted outside the continent, but we identified the top 100 websites actually hosted in Africa. In fact, 2,670 websites out of the world’s top 1 million sites are hosted in Africa.

You can find our complete study at http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/06/26/tiny-percentage-of-world-top-1-million-sites-hosted-africa

When it comes to webhosting, arguably the US is the go-to place. The different reasons for selecting a particular hosting provider are many, including price, functionality, reliability, and, of course, geographic location. For example, it might be awkward for a local city council somewhere to host its website outside the country, although, sometimes, it may have no other choice.

We scanned Alexa.com’s top 1 million sites (you can read more about our methodology further down), and here are some quick facts revealed by our study:

  • 34 countries in Africa host one or more sites in the top 1 million.
  • These 34 countries host a combined 2,670 sites.
  • That means, 0.27% of the world’s top 1 million sites are hosted in Africa.
  • South Africa is the clear leader, hosting 1,852 sites, or 69%, out of the 2,670.
  • Egypt is in second place with 276 sites, followed by Morocco with 97 sites.
  • The biggest site is masrawy.com, hosted in Egypt, which comes in at position 632 in Alexa’s ranking.
  • Out of the world’s top 10,000 sites, only 33 are hosted in Africa.
  • Out of the world’s top 100,000 sites, 250 are hosted in Africa.

To get a sense of what sites are actually hosted in Africa, we focused on data for the 100 biggest sites. Here’s a breakdown of in which countries we can find the top 100 sites hosted in Africa, in alphabetical order:

  • Algeria – 1
  • Egypt – 22
  • Kenya – 1
  • Libya – 1
  • Morocco – 5
  • Nigeria – 4
  • Seychelles – 7
  • South Africa – 58
  • Sudan – 1

As you can see, South Africa hosts the most sites. In fact, 58 of the 100 biggest sites hosted in Africa can be found in South Africa. Egypt is in second place with 22 sites, followed by Seychelles with 7, Morocco with 5, Nigeria with 4, and Algeria, Kenya, Libya and Sudan each with one site.

Put in another way, South Africa and Egypt together account for 80 of the top 100 sites hosted in Africa.

If we look at individual sites, Egypt is taking the top two spots. The biggest site hosted in Africa is masrawy.com in Egypt, and number two is ahram.org.eg, also hosted in Egypt. Out of the top 10 sites, South Africa hosts five, with Egypt and Seychelles hosting the remaining 5. The biggest site hosted in South Africa is news24.com, which lands in the number 3 place in the top 100.

That South Africa is in the clear lead in terms of actually hosting websites comes as no surprise. What did surprise us, in a good way, was how many other African countries host one or more sites in the list of the top sites in the world.

Even though the percentage of big websites hosted in Africa is rather low, one encouraging conclusion we can draw from this study is that Africa is clearly capable of hosting busy websites, and not just in South Africa.

So often when we see Africa mentioned in the tech headlines, it’s related to mobile technology and how it has taken off across the continent. And that’s a great development, but it’s worth remembering that however great that is, it still requires backend infrastructure, including webhosting.

Therefore, it would be encouraging to see Africa making strides in this area as well, in the future.

About the data: The data was collected June 6-8, 2012, with a Pingdom-developed script that scanned 945,472 out of Alexa’s top 1 million sites. The remaining sites failed for various reasons. We then identified the top 100 sites hosted in Africa, and each of those sites was checked again before publication. We should point out that webhosting is a constantly moving target, so where a particular site is hosted may have changed by the time you read this.

Magnus Nystedt, Analyst – Pingdom.com

Email: magnus@pingdom.com

Twitter: @pingdom

Pingdom is a company founded by Sam Nurmi. Sam Nurmi is also the founder and previous CEO of Sweden’s biggest web hosting company, Loopia, which he sold in 2005.

Pingdom has a very strong and narrow focus. That focus lies on covering the uptime monitoring needs of 90% of the companies in the world. Instead of branching out into other areas, we will instead place all our efforts into maintaining the best uptime monitoring service available.

The technology behind Pingdom is developed in house, which gives us an unparalleled ability to satisfy both the current and future needs of the market.



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