Technology trends in Africa

2016/12/21 05:13

The video gaming industry in Africa is set to feature prominently in 2016 and beyond. Currently, Africa’s biggest gaming markets are in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. According to a report by PwC, the gaming industry generated revenue of approximately $181 million in 2013 in South Africa, $71 million in Nigeria and $44 million in Kenya. The growth of the sector provides a unique opportunity for Africa to create games that best showcase the continent’s stories, such as a Cameroonian gaming startup called Kiro’o Games, which incorporates African folklore in creating gaming stories and characters.

African superheroes are set to feature prominently in African games, as seen in the Nigerian comic startup called Comic Republic,
which its characters have been dubbed as ‘Africa’s Avengers’. Earlier this year, telecommunications giant Telkom announced the launch of a Digital Gaming League, which will see eight teams compete for a cash prize of over $63 000. The league recognizes the growth of eSports as a profession and aims to put Africa on the global map of eSports.

Mobile phone games will dominate the gaming industry in Africa. There are already approximately 500 million mobile phone users in Africa, and by 2020, the number of mobile broadband connections on the continent could reach 1 billion, meaning that most avid gamers will have greater access to mobile phone games. Text-based games will continue to be popular during the continent’s experience with internet connectivity shortfall.

Electronic learning, or e-learning, is predicted to boom on the continent as educators find innovative ways of educating the continent’s children. According to BBC, approximately 17 million children in Africa will never attend school, and those that do attend encounter problems such as overcrowding in classrooms and lack of quality education. E-learning provides tablets and educational, web-based material to students, and this is all powered by solar power to reach students particularly in rural areas.

Innovations will also boom on the continent, such as the Kayoola prototype electric bus that was created by Kiira Motors in Kampala, Uganda. One of the bus’ batteries can be recharged via solar panels on the roof which increases the vehicle’s 80km range.

Africa will continue to be a hotbed for mobile phone sales and content consumption via mobile, as seen by the current number of mobile phone users, which amount to approximately 500 million. The continent will experience a boom in mobile phone innovations, including text messaging apps and e-commerce via mobile. Also, as connectivity improves on the continent, personalized content consumption will be a prominent feature as consumers download movies and TV series from online content providers such as Ikoro TV and Netflix.