South Africa ranks highest in Africa with respect to the use of mobile applications. They are followed by Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda respectively.

According to internet company, Opera, a third of South Africa’s population used mobile applications, followed by 31% in Ghana, 28% in Nigeria, 19% in Kenya and 18% in Uganda.

This was contained in Opera’s ‘State of the Mobile Web Africa 2016 Report,’ which highlights mobile internet trends across the continent, including consumer browsing behaviour and app usage.

The report also noted that Nigerians are regular social media users with 70% of Nigeria’s 16 million Facebook users, accessing the site via Opera Mini. In addition, Opera Mini users are accessing local news as much as 300% more than in 2014.

Opera makes a case for data compresion against the backdrop that internet users across the continent yearn for stable internet but at affordable rates.

“We believe data compression is as relevant and useful now as it was a decade ago – in fact, with the growth of smartphone penetration coupled with prohibitively high data costs, it’s a critical enabler,” says Richard Monday, VP for Opera, Africa.

“The #DataMustFall movement in South Africa demonstrates that people don’t feel like they’re getting value for money. The compression technology used in Opera Mini and Opera Max helps consumers save on data costs and addresses issues relating to congestion and page sizes. Ultimately, a lighter mobile web enhances usability, functionality and access – even in poor network conditions,” he added.

In 2016, Opera’s compression technology has allowed South Africans to save approximately US$111m in data costs, with Nigerians and Kenyans saving US$280m and US$116m, respectively. Opera currently has 100 million users in Africa, with an 86.41% market share in Kenya, 71.83% in Nigeria and 53.1% in South Africa.

Opera – known for its compression technology and mobile browsers, including Opera Mini ( – compiles regular global mobile web reports, shedding light on opportunities and challenges within the digital environment.