What could influence the Africa Gaming Space in 2021?

Africa’s youth population is increasing and is expected to double to over 830 million by 2050. These coupled with infrastructural developments, both in technology and the high rate of internet penetration and connectivity in the continent, the economy is expected to grow by 2021. The African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) is expected to begin early next year.

The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement is fundamental to the post-pandemic economic recovery for African countries that have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic resulting in many businesses feeling the pinch as well as the people, which the World Bank said more than 100 million people could join existing millions into extreme poverty. The AfCTA agreement is one of Africa’s solutions; it is expected to lift 30 million people out of poverty. These will see 54 African countries allowing free trade and lower tax tariffs to boost intra-African business. The trade bloc will strengthen Africa’s economic development and deepen its industrialization; digital regulation and infrastructure will be needed to maximize the agreement potential. The Intra Africa trade is expected to grow by 21.9 percent by 2022, while at least 53 percent by 2040 thus, effectively contributing in the region of $70 billion to the continent GDP. This growth will ensure an increasing proportion of Africa’s more than $2 trillion economies traded internally.

Technology is an essential aspect of gaming. It is expected to experience rapid growth in Africa, particularly the mobile internet and smartphone usage is expected to grow even more quickly than general mobile use in the next few years, while it is predicted that by 2025 mobile internet will have a 40 percent rate in West Africa only and the current 5222 million internet usage to increase by 10 percent. However, a new generation of digital consumers of 44% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population equivalent to just over 450 million people, majority of these people owned a smartphone in Sub-Saharan Africa which will have a significant influence on the Africa gaming industry as the proportion of betting activities is conducted via mobile which represent 40 percent of total 1.15bn betting GGR in Africa in 2020.

The inevitable 5G technology is set to disrupt the gambling industry and be lunch in Africa for commercial use by 2021. Thus countries like Nigeria and South Africa have all put it on trial. While it will be widely deployed by 2021 in Africa, the fifth-generation technology will support a wide range of devices and services. 5G technology will provide much higher data throughput, enabling a significantly better customer experience, coupled with faster speeds are not the only determinant of overall customer experience. The reduction in latency (delay) for data’s transit across the 5G network and end-users will play a significant role in unlocking new use cases by allowing capabilities and flexibility for mobile betting and serving the specific needs of punters better. The 5G subscriptions are projected to account for 17 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024, about 1.5bn subscriptions out of the total 8.9bn globally expected, albeit in Africa deployment in the region unevenly balanced, with many areas still in the exploration stage.

The 5G technology will unlock opportunities in the Africa gaming space, especially the e-Sport and live football matches. Many bookmakers in Africa are now offering live betting and live streaming on their website, which is a welcoming development for the impending 5G technology. The fifth-generation will improve customers’ experience as iGaming betting and gambling are rising, especially during the related lockdown in Africa.

Artificial intelligence is right here in Africa, and it is set to disrupt online gaming platforms. More operators will adopt this new technology in the Africa gambling industry. Moreover, online gambling is an excellent example of how technology can create problems and solutions. Artificial intelligence technology is changing online gambling, with unique features to create a better in-game user experience and better serve ads current or potential customers through real-time personalization. Thus this unique feature enhances user experience by providing human-live customer service powered by machine learning.

Therefore, the Africa gambling industry will continue to experience rapid growth in online and retail, coupled with infrastructure developments, economic growth, and technology. The initiative will benefit from the impending innovations that are set to lunch on the continent.

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