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THE MADIA JUNE 2018

AFRICA INSIGHTS #WakandaForever: How technovation is spurring Africa’s growth Africa has become synonymous with growth, opportunities, innovation and challenges. Over the past decade the world’s second largest and second most populous continent has been experiencing growth at above global average levels – and all bets are on that the trajectory continues upwards, LUCINDA JORDAAN reports. Africa’s ‘youth bulge’, rapid urbanisation, everincreasing mobile internet penetration, access to streaming services, and local innovations by a slew of enterprising ‘techpreneurs’ are all contributing factors, highlighting the myriad untapped opportunities the continent offers. These are, obviously, not without challenges. Comprising 54 independent countries, Africa is not to be typified: Differences in regions, economies, and regulations can be as broad as the similarities in aspirations. Yet, there’s no debating digital’s overriding influence and impact on media consumption – and the trends these are unleashing. The 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite, released in January, reveals that more than four billion people around the world – more than half the total population – are now using the internet, with Africa showing the fastest growth rate, at more than 20% yearon year. The number of internet users in Acr oss the continent, social media is exploding, with aps like WhatsAp, Viber, and WeChat serving as key messaging platforms, and even as news and entertainment sources. Benin, Sierra Leone, Niger, and Mozambique has more than doubled over the past year, while in Mali the reported number of internet users increased by almost six times since January 2017. And recent data from GlobalWebIndex shows on average, we’re spending about six hours each day using internet-powered devices and services. Across the continent, social media is exploding, with apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and WeChat serving as key messaging platforms, and even as news and entertainment sources. Facebook and Twitter dominate on the news front though, offering media houses and agencies an additional platform to reach audiences. Chalenges and oportunities Africa’s biggest media challenge is one the rest of the world is also struggling with: How to monetise via advertising, and shift the dominance held by US tech giants Google and Facebook – who accounted for 75% of online advertising spend, and can claim 99% of global advertising growth in the third quarter of 2017. There are other considerations for the sector on the continent though. “The greatest challenges for media in Africa are mostly regulatory hurdles, high data costs, inadequate broadband capacity, and the delay in digital migration in most African countries,” says Busi Ntuli, managing director of TransAfrica Radio, the continent’s first satellite radio station, which launched in 2000. Despite the challenges, proof that Africa offers vast lucrative potential lies in the fact that global brands and businesses have long been successful on the continent, in all spheres of industry. According to Shifting Market Frontiers: Africa Rising, Euromonitor International’s Megatrends report on the region, released in March, the continent has some of the fastest growing economies in the world, with Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Mozambique showing the fastest GDP growth rates, at above global averages. Consumer spending is expected to follow suit, and grow faster than global averages. “The greatest growth in African media is concentrated around a few major urban English-speaking areas in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. In Francophone African countries, most media growth is found in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Gabon while in Lusophone countries, Angola and Mozambique are experiencing the most growth,” notes Ntuli. The Media | wagthedog.co.za P 41


THE MADIA JUNE 2018
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