Microsoft Partnership – How it could Aid Nigeria iGaming Industry

In its partnership with Microsoft, the Nigerian government announced an American multinational technology company to accelerate digital transformation. The initiative aims to intensify Nigeria’s move to become a more digital economy though this plan is focused on digital infrastructural projects.

However, this development has been touted as a significant boost to the country’s dwindling economy and aid different sectors and businesses such as the iGaming industry, e-commerce, financial services, and logistics. In essence, this partnership will provide an enabling environment for these companies under this sector with an online presence. However, the project will not just address digital infrastructure but address the youths in digital skills. It is interesting to know the country has one of the youngest populations globally, which will benefit and significantly impact them in the digital age era.

The country boasts a 90 per cent mobile phone adoption rate is, of course, the first choice tools for the young demography 41.2 per cent surf the internet using a mobile device with 80 million internet users. The company has identified three key pillars that will help build a strong foundation for a digital economy in Nigeria, including connectivity, digital skills, and digital transformation. Hence, this project will spell across six regions in the country earmarked to develop high-speed internet infrastructure and improved broadband connectivity in these regions, predominantly rural areas. The design and implementation of hyper-scale cloud services; the American multinational company is committed to upskilling five million youths in Nigeria over the next three years to help reach the digital transformation goal in the country through online and in-person tanning and education. As mentioned above, it is fair to say Nigeria has one of the youngest populations globally; with millions of this population jobless, it is evident that this partnership with Microsoft will aid the Nigerian economy and aid business.

Some of the challenges bookmakers encounter and frustrate investors and entrepreneurs in the Africa iGaming industry can be attributed to low internet broadband penetration and internet accessibility, especially in densely populated areas and unaffordable internet data. Simultaneously the lack of digital skill to access tech devices from a huge chunk of over 200 million people is also a barrier to online gambling and betting in Nigeria. They are currently 80 milling Nigerians registered internet users. In essence, this figure shows the disparity of the digital divide among the underserved and unserved population; in contrast, this partnership will bridge the gap, strengthen the connection, and ensure that no one is left behind. In essence, as mentioned earlier, it will be a significant boost to different sectors. It will significantly benefit sectors like e-commerce, financial institutions (Fintech), and the iGaming industry. Even though the Covid-19 outbreak caused national lockdown, it sees companies recalibrate their business online.

The iGaming industry experiences a paradigm shift from players in the era of the new norm. Bettors and gambling brands in the industry had to adapt to the current situation caused by the outbreak. However, some bettors were left behind due to different barriers. Such as the lack of digital skills, expensive internet data, lack of smartphone access, insufficient internet connections without access to some of these services, and the lack of real-life sports, many operators are still counting their loss. A digital transformation partnership such as this will address some of these challenges for future occurrence and help propel the Nigerian economy. Companies with an online presence take them to a whole new height.

Interestingly, it is a matter of time as the Nigerian government plans to take 90% of its population online by 2025. Meanwhile, according to an E-play Africa research report, the pandemic accelerated online gambling and betting in Africa, taking a considerable chunk of the retail market. Therefore, a partnership such as this with an American multinational company will accelerate mobile online betting and gambling in Nigeria.

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