How is the internet in West/Central Africa?

So… common sense says that the best places to work are those with good, fast, stable WiFi connections. At the same time, the thing I like best about my location independence is the ability to spend long stretches of time in places I wouldn’t normally get to spend much time in. So I’m determined to make West and Central Africa happen in 2017, specifically Benin, Togo, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Rwanda and Congo-Brazzaville. (And a month off in the DRC, but the latter will just be an offline holiday.)

If anyone has any experience with the reliability of the Internet in the region and the availability of data SIM cards in any of the countries I’ve mentioned, I’d be super grateful about insights, tipps and heads-ups, AirBnB recommendations, et cetera. I know it’s not going to be a fast, luxurious, spotless connection for most of the time, and that’s fine, I just need it to be mostly reliable, speed is secondary.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Hello from Dakar! The wifi in our apartment is just 1Mbps down but very low latency so quite nice. I work out of Jokkolabs which is something like 5Mbps but is significantly higher latency so is slower for typical web browsing. 4G on Orange is super fast and coverage is very good in the city. I haven’t ventured far out so I don’t know what it’s like in the rest of the country. We’re staying in Cité Keur Gorgi and I walk to Jokkolabs.

We were in Ghana last month which isn’t on your list but perhaps should be! We tethered off of MTN 4G and that was great in our apartment near Kotobabi Spintex. 4G coverage isn’t great everywhere in Accra but we got it most places. We tried working from Impact Hub Accra but the connection was just too slow and the building doesn’t have 4G coverage.

If you venture east, I can also recommend Nairobi which has fantastic Internet and Dar es Salaam which doesn’t have great Internet but has a very different and cool vibe.

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Perfect, that’s very reassuring, thanks! Ghana is a “later” on the list; I’m planning to focus specifically on Francophone countries in 2017, as I wish to reacquire my long-lost French skills. :smile:

As for Kenya and Tanzania, I’ll definitely head that way at some point. I’ll stay around West/Central Africa* for now, but I’m happy to know that the Internet situation seems to be workable in quite a few places around the continent. The more options, the better. :slight_smile:

[*and I have changed the thread title back accordingly – come on, “Africa” is no more a coherent region than “Asia” is!]

I was in Tanzania one year ago and the internet speed wasn’t as bad as I thought (maybe 2-5mbps in Arusha)
The problem was that the energy grid of the whole country was being renovated so there were daily blackouts. It’s probably resolved by now, but it’s good to research in advance about that issue as well.

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Glad to hear you had a good experience in Ghana. I was born there but haven’t been back in quite a while :wink:

You should go! My husband @yanokwa is from Accra and I think it’s an especially great experience if you have family or other connections there.

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Awesome - Ghanaian men are the best - once you get over their habit of calling everyone “charley” :wink: I will go back at some point, just not quite sure when.

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