An overview of the App and Mobile Market in Africa

African Apps BookTwo good reads for you about the mobile market in Africa today. First we start with “The Numbers That Lure Telecom Firms to Africa”, good nuggets in the stats cited there, let’s see:

  • 620 million cell phone connections in Africa corresponding to six out of 10 of the continent’s inhabitants.
  • Africa is home to one billion consumers, over 60 per cent of who use mobile phones
  • Mobile penetration is unevenly distributed, Sudan hovers in 45% while Ethiopia(??!!) drags at 10%
  • Consumer spending in Africa has increased at a compounded annual rate of 16 per cent for the last few years, and within the next five years, around 220 million Africans will be joining the middle class.
  • By 2020, it is estimated that there will be 128 million households making $5,000 or more a year (Shopping by choice level), up from about 85 million now
  • Africa will have the world’s largest working age population by 2040, this means a large cohort of young that marketers covet.

Next an in-depth look at App development and markets in Africa in the “From Tunisia to SA, apps take Africa by storm” article. Highlights from the article include:

  • According to the GSM Association, Africa is now second only to Asia in terms of mobile penetration, growing 20 per cent annually over the past five years.
  • 90 per cent of Tunisians have a mobile phone, and the market is shared between three mobile operators, two of which operate a 3G network.
  • There is a high uptake of smartphones in various countries across the continent such as Egypt, Kenya and South Africa.
  • There is a trend in Social Benefit apps, examples include the “iCow” app, an SMS-based mobile phone application specially developed for small-scale dairy farmers; “Maisha,” a child health App for expectant and first-time mothers and “Get H2O,” a game that allows users to negotiate issues of chronic water shortage
  • At the same time, in countries like South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tunisia and Egypt, apps exist as convenience tools and for entertainment value i.e “iWarrior” a game where you protect your village from wild animals; apps on African tribes and apps on African wildlife.
  • There are also apps that look to improve on the ease of business in Africa such as Google Trader, Soko, Kopo Kopo and many more. These apps act as classifieds, linking up potential business partners, assist in transactions or offer information. They boost development and promote business growth.
  • South Africa stands as the Sub Saharan leader in App Development because of its highly developed business sector, the diversity of its local market and its well-established IT sector.
  • Many mobile related events and structures in place : Coders4Africa, Apps4Africa, MobileMondays, Appfrica Labs, AfriLabsM-Lab.
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