The world's most popular search engine, Google has ranked Tanzania among top three with lowest data prices in Africa during the fourth quarter of 2017.

A comparison of the data prices in six Africa countries as at the fourth quarter of 2017 showed Egypt has the lowest cost per 1 gigabit (GB) of data at $1.2. This followed by Tanzania, Ghana with $2.3 each. Nigeria came third with $3.1 while Kenya and South Africa cost per 1GB of data stood at $4.9 and $7.6 respectively, according to Country Manager for Google Kenya, Charles Murito, who made the disclosure in South Africa, while presenting a paper on the evolution of digital advertising and the rise of online presence among African countries.

A recent research conducted by Google has showed a rapid increase in online search among Africans. The research study which ranked Nigeria among the top three countries of the world that spend quality time online in search of various goods and services, disclosed that Nigerians’ passion to go online is highest among Africa countries, surpassing South Africa and Kenya, and among top three countries globally.

Mr. Murito said that South Africa has grown its online presence through mobile search from 61 per cent in 2014 to 67 per cent in 2017, Kenya grew its online presence through mobile search from 74 per cent in 2014 to 81 per cent in 2017, while Nigeria, which tops the African list for online presence through mobile search, grew from 76 per cent in 2014 to 86 per cent in 2017.

He equally puts the growth of YouTube watch time in the past 12 months in Nigeria at 120 per cent, Kenya 110 per cent and South Africa 90 per cent.

He said the fact that there has been 140 per cent rise in mobile searching for what to buy, 150 per cent increase in travel searches, among others, are enough reasons for businesses to embrace digital advertising.

Giving the implication of the growth in online presence and internet usage among African countries on digital marketing, Murito said the entire digital marketing ecosystem must rise to develop the right contents and then channel such contents to the target audience at the right time.

“The lack of local data and the ignorance of commercialising local data owned by some individual and organisations, have always remained a major challenge for digital marketing in Africa,” Meulen said.

Speaking on the Google advertising tools that will enhance digital marketing across Africa, Head of Ads PR, EMEA Google and YouTube, Jennifer Kaiser, said the Google Ad Network is available to further grow digital marketing across Africa. According to her, Google has put in place, the Google Ad Policies, designed to create transparency and growth in the entire digital marketing ecosystem. She said over 1.7 billion bad adds were detected and disapproved on the Google Ad Network in 2016 on a global scale, while 12 per cent of all online ads was approved and published on the Google Ad Network in 2016. She insisted that policy enforcement is needed to grow digital marketing in Africa.

Pleased with the growth of online presence and Internet usage among African countries, the Group General Manager, Hitch Digital, Nicky Van der Meulen, called on Africans to generate sufficient data that will drive online advertising and digital marketing. According to Van der Meulen, African counties lack sufficient data that would boost digital marketing and online advertising.

“Data creation is an issue for the African digital marketing and there is need for local data creation in order to depend less on global data, since global data will not yield the right accuracy for digital marketing across Africa,” Meulen said.

She said the digital marketing ecosystem is changing, with the introduction of technology tools like programmatic, which helps the advertisers, the publishers and the audience in the entire ecosystem to function well with less stress.