Improved technology will increase the growth of igaming markets
Developing technology is changing the way business across all sectors access the digital era, in particular developing countries where access to technology is relatively limited especially in rural areas 11.3 percent of African population are in urban areas whereas the rest of the population are in rural areas, which means about 70 percent still lack access to technology and the population is expected to accumulate by 2030.
Indeed, private sectors are partnering with African government in doing every means to bring internet connectivity to remote areas. For example, in 2019 American tech giant Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company) is spreading internet connectivity to rural and remote communities across Africa using balloons under its loon project which is still in its trial stage in most part of Africa
SMARTPHONES & AFFORDABLE INTERNET
Smartphones in Africa are one of the main ways in which people access the internet. Though, smartphones users are still relatively low especially in rural and remote areas where majority of the people they can’t afford to buy a smartphones which is still relatively expensive in they regards. And according to International Data Corporation (IDC) statistics report the increased smartphone market in the region which in Q3 of 2019 is a 4.0% total of 22.6 million units, and with the IDC’s reports Mobile phone Tracker shows that Africa’s overall mobile phone market as reached 55.8 million units in the Q3 of 2019, while feature phones account for 59.4% of this versus smartphones at 40.6%, in which it shows feature phone users is still higher than smartphone users. Though, this could change in the next few years as mobile industries is becoming more of a competitive markets in the region, with host of mobile phones companies in the region now and as well as indigenous operators which unlike the newly lunched mobile phone company in Rwanda, though it is expected in few years time the cost of buying mobile phones will drop further.
However, the online gambling is still experiencing growth, but in recent time the numbers of players towards online gambling are increasing year on year, compare to the traditional ways of staking bets few years back punters behaviour are evolving especially as they preferred placing bets from the comfort of they homes via internet connected mobile phones which is now one of they preferred means of betting. For example, countries like Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda punters attitude towards gambling is evolving to online gambling which is now one of they preferred choice. However, imagine the remote and rural areas in Africa which access to technology is limited and the growing numbers of population in such areas, it will be a game changer should more access to technology is spread across remote and rural areas, in that regards it will open more opportunities to the gambling sector.
Internet connectivity is essential in the modern world, in which Africa is still relatively behind compare to the rest of the world, particularly in rural areas in which the cost of buying data is still on the high side in the continent. Though, an important benefit of increased connectivity is that a greater number of people will have access to internet it will create more opportunities and beyond this has been one of draw-back to the growth of online gambling in Africa. Though, as stated earlier with the initiative behind internet connectivity which is still in is trial stage we could say when such project kick-start fully it is expected to open more opportunities to all sectors of businesses in Africa.
Article by Adeleye Awakan
Associate/Editor www.gbc.ng Africa’s digital gaming news portal. For consultant, Bookmaker’s review, Content, thoughtful leadership article Africa gambling industry: feel free to reach me [email protected], Linkedin Adeleye Awakan.