World Wide Creative, the agency behind The Heavy Chef Project, is based in Cape Town, Johannesburg as well as in the UK, so we naturally keep a keen eye on digital developments in Africa. It was a great deal of interest that we read ReadWriteWeb’s report on Social Media trends and progress in Africa.
In particular, checkout the Mobile Penetration Statistics from Africa:
- At the end of 2007 there were over 280 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa, representing a penetration rate of 30.4%
- Africa has become the fastest growing mobile market in the world with mobile penetration in the region ranging from 30% to 100% from country to country.
- Fastest growing markets are in Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt
- Increased competition as more operators come online in each country (11 in Nigeria, 4 in Kenya and SA, 3 in Egypt and Morocco)
- Pre-paid subscriptions account for nearly 95 percent of total mobile subscriptions in the region.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo, population 60 million, has 10,000 fixed telephones but more than a million mobile phone subscribers.
- In Chad, the fifth-least developed country, mobile phone usage jumped from 10,000 to 200,000 in three years.
Anyone smell the sweet scent of opportunity? These stats remind me of a story I heard about Nokia’s decision not to focus on Africa, since no one believed it was worth any attention – and then gave the rights to distribute their handset to South African based RF Group. Apparently, they quickly regretted the decision as Africa’s growth went ballistic.