Internet usage in Uganda grew by one million last year, study finds

By our News Team | 2023

Just under 25% of the population is now connected online and a little over 4% of Ugandans are active social media users.

Internet usage in Uganda grew by one million people in 2022, bringing the total number of users in the country to 11.77-million people, which equates to just under 25% of the total population.

In addition, the number of active social media users in the East African nation now stands at 2.05-million, or 4.3% of the total population.

Digital Marketing

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

These figures are contained in the Digital 2023 Global Overview Report compiled jointly by Meltwater and We Are Social. The report claims to explore what people are really doing on the internet, social media, mobile devices, and online shopping platforms around the world. 

Analysing the data specific to Uganda, local digital media analyst and micro-blogger John Birungi Babirukamu notes that the growth in internet usage was lower than his prediction of 1.35-million new users. Similarly, the total name of users falls below the Uganda Communications Commission’s expected number of 13.9-million users.

In a LinkedIn post, he says betting information still dominates the top Google searches in Uganda, while local music, comedy and translated movies (by VJ Junior & VJ Jingo) dominated activity on YouTube.

LinkedIn proves a big growth winner in 2022

LinkedIn was a big winner in 2022, growing by 23.5% to hit the 1-million monthly active users mark in Uganda. It is still very male-dominated, with 62.3% male users.

Twitter grew by 43.7% to make 601,000 monthly active users, with a 77.1% male user base.

Facebook usage fell by 26% to about 1.85-million monthly active users. Babirukamu says this is a direct result of the government ban on Facebook usage, (implemented in 2021) and the platform’s reduced appeal to Gen Z users.

Instagram dropped by 23.1%, down to 445,000 users as people migrated to TikTok. Usage is 56.1% male, and 43.9% female.

“While I deduce that TikTok grew massively among Gen Z and Millennials, we, unfortunately don’t get statistics from TikTok for the whole of Africa,” he said.

The Digital 2023 Global Overview Report contains a range of African-focused digital information. For African marketers looking to potentially increase their spend on digital, one of the key takeaways is that there are still huge unconnected populations in many countries.

In Nigeria, for example, nearly 45% of the population remains offline. In Kenya, the figure is 67% and in Tanzania it is 68%. Mozambique has 79% of people offline, and Ethiopia has 83%. In Somalia and South Sudan, the figure is 90% and above.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.