All the African countries getting Starlink before South Africa

Starlink has either already launched or has planned rollout dates in 44 of Africa’s 54 United Nations-recognised countries — but South Africa is still not on its list for future availability.

The fast, uncapped satellite Internet service is a game-changer for rural connectivity.

Starlink uses a network of more than 5,000 lower-earth orbit satellites for communication, enabling it to provide Internet coverage nearly anywhere in the world.

As long as you can place its dish somewhere outside with a clear view of the sky and pay your subscription, you can use Starlink Internet.

While other older satellite providers can provide broadband connectivity as long as the customer has a dish installed, they cannot achieve anywhere near the speeds of Starlink, have much higher latency, and often impose strict fair usage policies and long-term contract commitments.

Its potential in Africa appears not to have gone unnoticed.

The number of African countries confirmed or planned for launch has more than doubled from the 20 MyBroadband counted on the Starlink coverage map in December 2022.

Starlink first has to obtain approval from regulator authorities in each country where it wants to operate.

During our previous round-up, the service was yet to launch in any African country.

Starlink coverage map showing countries in Africa where the service is already officially rolled out in light blue.

As of October 2023, Starlink is officially available in seven African countries, from where customers can place orders directly through Starlink’s website.

The most recent addition was Benin, following Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi, and Mozambique.

In addition, another 25 countries that previously had unknown availability dates are now scheduled to get the service by the end of 2024.

South Africa’s estimated rollout date has also been unknown for several years, supposedly due to an Electronic Communications Act requirement that all telecoms licensees in South Africa must be 30% owned by historically disadvantaged groups.

Starlink’s enterprise head has said the company has prioritised countries that make regulatory clearance less cumbersome.

Other African countries where Starlink is yet to get an ETA include Algeria, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan.

Roaming option available in South Africa

In countries where the service is not officially available — including South Africa — users can access it through global or regional roaming, provided they can import the kit from a country to which Starlink delivers.

Several Internet service providers (ISPs) — including IT Lec, Starsat Africa, and IcasaSePush — have seen this feature as an opportunity.

They can handle the kit importing and service management on behalf of South Africans who are not familiar with bringing in products from other countries themselves.

The roaming option is slightly more expensive than using Starlink in its country of registration, however.

In addition, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) hit IT Lec with a cease and desist order to stop it from importing the kits and managing the service on behalf of customers.

At the time of its letter to the ISP, IT Lec had already imported over 4,000 kits for its customers — many of whom live in rural areas with few other broadband connectivity options.

The table below breaks down the status of Starlink in all 54 UN-recognised countries in Africa.

African countries confirmed to get Starlink
Country Estimated availability date
Algeria No planned launch date
Angola Q3 2024
Benin Available 
Botswana Q3 2024
Burkina Faso 2024
Burundi Q2 2024
Cabo Verde 2024
Cameroon 2024
Central African Republic No planned launch date
Comoros 2024
Chad 2024
Democratic Republic of Congo 2024
Djibouti No planned launch date
Egypt 2024
Eritrea No planned launch date
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) 2024
Equatorial Guinea 2024
Gabon 2024
Gambia Q2 2024
Ghana Q3 2024
Guinea 2024
Guinea-Bissau 2024
Ivory Coast 2024
Kenya Available
Lesotho Q2 2024
Liberia 2024
Libya No planned launch date
Madagascar Q2 2024
Malawi Available
Mali No planned launch date
Mauritania 2024
Mauritius 2024
Mozambique Available
Morocco 2024
Namibia 2024
Nigeria Available
Niger 2024
Republic of Congo 2024
Rwanda Available
São Tomé and Príncipe 2024
Senegal 2024
Seychelles 2024
Sierra Leone 2024
South Africa No planned launch date
South Sudan No planned launch date
Somalia No planned launch date
Sudan No planned launch date
Tanzania Q2 2024
Togo Q3 2023
Tunisia 2024
Uganda 2024
Western Sahara 2024
Zambia Available
Zimbabwe Q2 2024

Now read: Good news for Starlink users in South Africa

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All the African countries getting Starlink before South Africa