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Mobile Gaming: Africa Needs To Wakeup

by afrogamer
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In Africa, we’re still sleeping on gaming (both mobile and esports)! I don’t think we understand the magnitude of that industry and the advantage we have as a continent! There are challenges but we still have mad leverage to build some things here! Let me explain that, ok?

Africa’s population is estimated to be 1.2B, with at least 200M people aged between 15 and 24 years. We also have the highest population growth rate in the world at 2.7% a year. This means a growing market/opportunity for gaming coz the populace will always be young! 

By 2025, even with 1.05 billion sim connections and 614 million unique mobile subscribers and smartphone adoption reaching 65% of the total population, only 39% of Africans would be experiencing their mobile web on smartphones. Mobile penetration experiences growth in Africa YoY 

Connectivity and accessibility could be an issue? Yes. However, Mobile Network Operators know the potential and they are spending billions on infrastructure to ensure they tap into this growing market(and revenue really, for them). Hehehe. So, expect access to also grow. 

By 2024, the mobile industry is projected to contribute $184 billion to the continent’s collective GDP bringing it to 9 to 10% of total GDP. COVID has also increased the demand for digital services as well as made more people aware of opportunities in the digital space. 

Most consumers of mobile solutions are the emerging middle class(spend btw $2-$20 a day). By 2060, the AfDB predicts that the number of middle-class Africans will grow to 1.1 billion and account for 42% of the predicted population. Again potential market and growth. 

There isn’t much data on the average age of gamers (esp mobile gamers) in Africa but globally, the majority of gamers are 34yrs old and below. Assuming that this is representative, that again works in the favour of Africa. 

Another factor, this one is a sad one actually. Do you know why betting is rampant in Africa? Mostly because of unemployment. Youths account for 60% of all of Africa’s jobless, according to the World Bank.

Do what you want with that information. 

Africa hasn’t attained a global status regarding earnings and the number of national players in E-sports. There are reasons why this is the case, we can start with ping, lag, latency (Let me just mention the lack of servers in the continent and snubbing of Africa by major games) 

But I digress, I will do a thread on Esports another day(It is a lot). Let’s just focus on Mobile gaming and why I think this is where Africa can win BIG!! We have mobile money, so payment shouldn’t be as hard (again refer to why betting is big). Remember also policy(lack of it) 

Now the most important part of this thread: Building, investing in and playing African games! Game developers, quality is everything, it is also costly, so try to raise funds(i know it is hard) but try. Investors, there is a huge opportunity here, pliz don’t sleep on it! 

Investors, I am pleading coz I know it will payout! It will.
I have seen African games do the numbers. Back in 2011, there was a Ke game called Ma3racer, on Nokia. They had 1+M downloads in the Ovistore. Social Media was not as huge as it is now, there can be better numbers! 

If you’re building a business in the gaming sector in Africa, I did this thread on Supa Strikas that has a few gems on strategies that could still be relevant today. Pick what might work and BUILD on it!
I’m bullish about Africa, we have all it takes! END

written by – Sheilah Birgen

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