As mobile telecommunication companies drive growth into Africa, so are more African's becoming connected to the internet. The African Telecom Market is growing at a rate of 21%, aggressively driving the economic development of the continent.[i]
But why is this important? For starters, it directly relates to the number of people who can get access to the internet at home or at work, thus allowing them to interact with each other which will ultimately allow them to do business with each other.
Disappointingly however, broadband remains expensive in African countries and this is hampering growth. Yet there are positive signs - Africa is still showing the best growth compared to the rest of the world in terms of internet access. On the continent, out of a population of 11,4 million people, 3,69 million people are actual internet subscribers leaving 7,5 million ready to be serviced[ii].
From the "Measuring the Information society 2013
" report the following facts are highlighted:
- An estimated 16.3% of individuals use the Internet in Africa.
- An estimated 10.9% of Africans have an active mobile broadband subscription.
- An estimated 0.3% of Africans have a fixed (wired) broadband subscription.
- An estimated 6.7% of African households have internet access
- Highest percentages of individuals using the Internet: 47% in Seychelles, 41% in Mauritius. South Africa (41%), Cape Verde (35%), Nigeria (33%), and Kenya (32%).
- Kenya has the largest amount of international internet bandwidth per internet user in Africa (24 kbit/s per user). South Africa follows at 19 kbit/s, then Côte d'Ivoire at 17 kbit/s, Seychelles at 17 kbit/s and Mauritius at 15 kbit/s.
At this stage, these are promising statistics for African growth in this industry, although Africa is still lacking compared to the rest of the world in terms of penetration, as per the graph below.
Source: Internet World Stats
There are however certain positives that can be seen in this landscape such as the benefits to institutions and companies looking to establish themselves in Africa. And not only for the telecommunications industry but other big players such as banks that want to enter the market aggressively[iii].
With gaps in many business arenas waiting to be filled, more sectors will surely follow suit, which will necessitate the need to promote these sectors and their services and products in the digital space. Various platforms such as social media, banner advertising, video advertising (where broadband allows), search advertising and of course mobile advertising can be put to extremely effective use. And this is where a tool such as EMA comes into play.
The African Internet population is young compared to the rest of the world, but this means that a great opportunity awaits. It is vital that companies take heed of these opportunities. Of equal importance is building the basics correctly.
With regards to efficient, cheap internet access, the African landscape is ripe for the picking. So too is online branding and marketing. African countries are ready to embrace the benefits of internet access, the power and opportunity this yields for new business and business growth and the countless doors this will open in terms of communication and online advertising that is successful, effective and yields excellent bang for buck.
[i] CSR Wire
[ii] Manifest Mind
[iii] (Ecobank CEO More about EMA
EMA enables brands and agencies to plan and buy online advertising space. The platform uses a real-world algorithm TM which blends available ad space with the desired target audience reach, frequency, price, budget and asset spread to optimise an online media plan with limited waste. It works on the premise of "the higher your GRP (Gross Point Rating), the better your campaign". Visit there site at www.elasticmediaafrica.com