Digital Zimbabwe: the shift to online leisure in Zimbabwe is happening faster than expected


Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with a proud history and plenty to offer the world. As is true for other African countries in recent years, it is also a place where the influence of the internet has been strongly felt. This has seen the shift to a more digital way of life begin to pick up pace across the country. This rate of digital change around the country can be seen in the most recent figures around online life in Zimbabwe.

The country now boasts over 5 million internet users, for example, which is a 4.2% increase over 2020. Mobile connectivity stood at 14.76 million people in January 2021, which is roughly 98% of the population. This may surprise those who might not have realized just how fast the shift to online life has been in the country.

Online leisure in Zimbabwe moving online also

One sector that has seen a very quick shift to a more digital market is leisure. This shift to online leisure activities in Zimbabwe is also happening faster than many expected. Much of this comes down to the better mobile and internet connections that citizens can now access, especially in urban areas. More accessible and stable online connectivity has allowed more people to spend their spare time online and to become used to relaxing in this way.


But which leisure activities have been the quickest to move online recently?

Online casino gaming


There are some top online casinos in Zimbabwe to play at now and this has helped online gaming in the country to grow quickly. When you put this together with the better internet coverage and mobile connectivity discussed above, it is easy to see why the move to playing games online has happened so fast. Mobile gaming is particularly popular in this country, as 95% of internet users connect to the web through their smartphones.

With internet connections in the country also seeing a speed increase of 11.6% from 2020, you can see why so many people now love the convenience and thrills of online casino gaming. Compared to heading to an expensive casino resort in big cities such as Harare, online casino gaming is much easier. As a result, it has seen a rapid rise in popularity in a short space of time.


Social media


While chatting with friends in person will always be popular in Zimbabwe, social media platforms (like Facebook) have really taken off at a fast pace over recent times. This has seen this type of online leisure activity grow at a quicker rate than many might have predicted. As with playing online casino games, you can see the attraction when you dig deeper.

With social media platforms, you can catch up with friends any time you like and when most convenient for you. As these platforms use the internet to operate, you can chat to people who are not in the same room as you, or even in the same town or city!

As a result of this, the data for 2021 on digital use in Zimbabwe shows that 1.3 million people now regularly use social media. This was an increase of 33% in 2020 and shows this is another online leisure activity that the country is taking too fast. Of course, social media platforms are now also used by many businesses in the country, as shown by the popularity of these five social media tips for fashion houses in Zimbabwe.


Online shopping


Shopping is another leisure activity that has become a more online experience within Zimbabwe in recent years. This has not always been the case, with the e-commerce sector in the country being a little slow off the mark initially. Recent years have seen this change, though, and the online shopping sector has taken off rapidly. This has been especially true since the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic started to take effect in 2020. The net result of this was that Zimbabweans were forced to shop online due to Covid restrictions and this has kickstarted e-commerce across much of the country. As internet penetration and secure online payment methods become accessible to more people, e-commerce should continue to gain popularity in the coming year.

Zimbabwe is going digital for leisure


When you add other popular online leisure activities, such as watching sports, you can see how fast the pace of change is in Zimbabwe. A number of people, who might not have expected leisure activities there to move online so quickly, have been taken by surprise. With greater internet penetration and faster networks, though, this looks likely to be a change that continues picking up speed as the year progresses.

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