Africa is currently experiencing the biggest growth in its digital market in any continent in the world. Mobile growth is doubling every year, and three quarters of its mobile connections are expected to be 3 or 4G by 2020. This makes Africa one of the ripest markets for the expansion of digital technology and marketing and techniques.
With the original phase of mobile adoption in Africa using relatively simple technology, the time is ripe not only for more sophisticated technology, like smartphones designed specifically for the needs of the African market, but also more sophisticated uses for that technology. Africa is the world’s largest emerging market not just for digital tech, but digital services, from banking to marketing. This is not just encouraging investment from outside the continent in the possibilities appearing there, but also creating business opportunities for native Africans.
Previously those seeking a better life would have to leave, either for big cities in South Africa or for Europe or America, and send their wealth home through Western Union transfers or in the form of overseas airtime. Now, for those in the right place and at the right time, there are opportunities to develop a business, and earn enough to support themselves and their family in a way that’s simply not been possible before.
One of the key ways to appeal to this powerful new market is in making your offering data-conscious: with many on pay as you go packages, and the majority of contracts offering a low data cap, people in Africa are always conscious of how much data they’re using, and keen to avoid additional charges. If you’re able to offer a valuable online service with an economic approach to the data you require people to invest to access it, you’ll find a more friendly and most importantly bigger audience.
The most important lesson is simply not to overlook this important breakthrough market. This is a key time for African digital media and mobile technology. Recognising the opportunities here not just to move existing brands into the market but also to invest in local innovation is vital. It doesn’t just give established brands and companies a foothold in a new and untapped market it also serves as a means for business to contribute to Africa’s growing economy and increasing quality of life through investment.