Mobile Technologies Helping Advance Africans Into A Digital Future
This is one of the best article guide about Mobile Technologies Helping Advance Africans into a Digital Future in 2023.
Smartphones and other mobile technologies have been around for over fifteen years, but it is only recently that Africa has truly started to tap into the potential of digital opportunities they provide.
In 2023, it is clear that tech is helping Africans throughout the continent into a digital future. For many, it has reinvented daily life, providing access to a wider interconnected world.
Table of Contents
Mobile Penetration: Direct Access to Target Markets
Africa can be called a success story when it comes to smartphone penetration. With fixed-line internet connections not always widely available, smartphones have become essential in day-to-day transactions. Now that both 4/5G and smartphones are relatively affordable, usage rates have climbed exponentially in recent years.
Ghana, for example, can boast the highest mobile penetration rates in West Africa. In fact, mobile connections in the country outnumber the total population to the tune of 140%. Similar numbers can be seen in other countries on the continent.
This rise in mobile phone usage has allowed companies to have direct access to customers. With fast connection speeds, the experience is smooth and frustration-free. The iGaming industry, as just one example, can now offer players a wide selection of mobile casino games that match the quality and variety of desktop/laptop-based titles. It’s effectively the casino roulette, slots, and blackjack experience right in the palm of your hand.
Of course, Apple phones are still out of reach for many consumers. However, there’s a good range of Android-based mobile phones that offer all of the functionality required to perform most tasks.
The Rise of (Easy) E-commerce Solutions
Creating an E-commerce platform has been possible for a significant amount of time, but it hasn’t always been affordable. For most, if not all, small businesses based in Africa the price to develop this type of website was cost-prohibitive.
In 2023, however, there are several platforms that offer cost-effective solutions that are essentially plug-and-play. You simply create an account and pay a small monthly fee, and you’re ready to go.
Naturally, there are also alternatives, which allow small companies and individuals to sell their wares. For example, websites like eBay, Jumia, and Etsy all provide sellers with a low-cost platform without the up-front development costs.
All of these services work seamlessly on both tablet and smartphone screens and browsers. This development has been key for African consumers, as many do not have access to a traditional desktop or laptop.
Fintech for All
The average African consumer has historically suffered from a lack of access to financial services. With cash as the only payment option, it stifled growth in many countries throughout Africa. If most business is done in cash, it is slow, inefficient, and with far too many overheads.
In 2023, however, fintech has changed the landscape drastically. Using mobile technology, most Africans can now make transactions without issue using a simple smartphone device. The benefits of wider access to payment methods such as these are obvious, and now also widely available.
In Kenya, for example, mobile money services such as M-Pesa have proved absolutely revolutionary. Without the need for traditional banking, both consumers and businesses are now able to transact efficiently and quickly.
These technologies essentially bank the unbanked. Similar to cryptocurrencies, for example, these fintech services allow everyone to participate in the economy through digital means.
Let’s give you a quick example. Let’s say you’re a farmer in rural Ghana. Without mobile technologies, payments for basics such as school fees have to be made in cash (or often, they are impossible). This can often involve long journeys and unnecessary bureaucracy. With your mobile phone, however, these transactions can be made in seconds.
Youth is the Future
Mobile technologies don’t mean a thing without adoption. Africa has long lagged far behind the rest of the world (some estimate by as much as a decade), but this gap has well and truly been bridged in recent years.
Mobile internet usage in Africa is popular amongst all age groups, but it is notably high amongst those aged 15-29. This is not surprising, as the younger generations tend to adopt new technologies more quickly.
What’s interesting, however, is that Africa is increasingly getting younger. Currently, 60% of the total population is under the age of 25. With a current population of 1.2 billion, the United Nations predicts this number will balloon to 2.4 billion by 2050.
This is in huge contrast to the rest of the world, where most of the population is ageing rapidly. In Japan, for example, almost 30% of the total population is over the age of 65.
Africa’s workforce will soon surpass China and India, with experts predicting it may come as soon as 2025. With a keen, young, and now increasingly connected population, the continent’s future looks promising indeed.