Mobile Gaming in Africa

The World’s Fastest Growing Market Is Set For Another Mobile Transformation

Chris Cleverly
Apr 16 · 5 min read

Mobile Adoption Hits Historic Proportion

While there has been a staggering adoption rate of mobile subscriptions across Africa over the last 10 years — the current number hovers around 960 million subscriptions — internet penetration has not kept the same pace. In 2018, 216 million internet users were recorded, which is only 18% of the continent’s population. This gap makes sense, as it has only been recently that the mobile subscriptions reached such a high penetration rate. This gap though marks an historic opportunity for African internet companies to increase their market share, as there are still hundreds of millions of Africans who could be using mobile internet for their daily needs, rather than traveling to a location with a desktop computer.

The Opportunity for Mobile Gaming

Since mobile phone ownership remains high, and the mobile payments sector is exploding, the next mobile sector to see an increase in growth is likely to be mobile gaming. Mobile gaming is when users play strategy or chance games on remote devices for prizes or money. While the majority of mobile gaming in the global economy takes place on smart-phones, mobile gaming on traditional cell phones still makes up a large percentage of global gaming use. This year, there is estimated to be over 300 million Africans using smart-phones, with the mobile money market estimated to be worth nearly $15 billion.

Challenges Facing Gaming In Africa

While there may be plenty of opportunity for gaming, there are three main reasons why it hasn’t taken off yet. The biggest obstacle to adoption is the difference in payment methods seen in Africa for mobile gaming. In Africa, the most widely used method for paying either for a mobile game, or for in-game purchases, happens through the mobile phone providers. In Asian, European, and American markets, the majority of payments for mobile games happen in the phone’s app store. This structure forces gambling companies to deal with may different telecom companies, in just as many different countries.

Conclusion

The expansion of mobile gaming in Africa has all the right conditions to take place — rapid economic growth, an increase in population growth, and a high rate of smart-phone adoption. All of these factors will lead to the quick ascension of mobile gaming as a stable sector in the global mobile market. With a continent that has two-thirds of their population under the age of 24, the possibilities for mobile gaming are endless. This generation that is coming online will seek new opportunities that are open to them. This is why it is imperative to commit investment to mobile gaming, but also to make it homegrown, in order to develop a sector that works for the local population.

Kamari

Kamari integrates existing infrastructure & licensing with a standardized currency for gaming & payments, and will instantly offer a better experience to hundreds of millions of people across Africa. We are creating a world without borders.

Chris Cleverly

Written by

CEO of Kamari, Founder of Made In Africa Foundation

Kamari

Kamari

Kamari integrates existing infrastructure & licensing with a standardized currency for gaming & payments, and will instantly offer a better experience to hundreds of millions of people across Africa. We are creating a world without borders.