Shirley Wakefield, CEO of Pondering Panda, was our guest speaker for the August event at Deloitte, Cape Town. Her expertise on mobile statistics surprised those who attended, as we realised just how important mobile has become and how far it has stretched in Africa.
There are 1 billion people in Africa with 60% being below the age of 24. Because of this youth majority, there is a massive need for people to connect at an affordable rate. Most mobile connections in Africa are pre-paid. The six biggest markets in Africa are Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco and lastly Kenya. In some of these countries there is over 100% mobile penetration.
With Ethiopia at 10% mobile penetration, there is huge scope for growth where connections can be increased drastically.
The effect of mobile penetration on GDP is also noticeable. For every 10% of mobile penetration, there is a 0.8% increase in GDP locally. This means Africa’s GDP increased from 2010 to 2011 by 1.2%.
The focus lies in emerging markets and the potential that can be unlocked through mobile. By 2015 there will be more people in Sub-Saharan Africa with reach to mobile than access to electricity. More than 50% of African mobile internet users don’t use internet on a PC.
Shockingly, there is only a 3% Smartphone penetration in Africa, although it is likely this will increase to 15% by 2015. Feature phones still dominate for now.
Regarding handsets, Nokia leads the pack with Samsung following and Blackberry coming in third place. Research on what people will purchase next revealed that Samsung will fall down while Blackberry rises, but Nokia is still the favourite in Africa.,
As Shirley so wisely stated, “In the absence of luxury, creativity is born”.
For more of these fascinating research facts, watch Shirely’s talk above. Follow Pondering Panda on Twitter here.