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Mobile penetration in Africa reaches 80%

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LAGOS, Nigeria -There are 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80% penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18% with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa.

The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience.

This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which generate more than 80% of Africa’s GDP: Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Mozambique, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Senegal.

Africa mobile, internet penetration

There are 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80% penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18% with 216 million internet users. While Nigeria’s internet penetration is much higher at 53%, its mobile subscription is similar to Africa’s at 81% penetration (150 million mobile subscriptions).

Like last year, it is presumed that the unique subscription rate is lower as each subscriber owns an average of two sim cards.

Nigeria: a mobile first nation

As predicted in 2016, Nigeria continues its trajectory down the increasingly widening highway that is the mobile internet. With a current internet penetration rate of 53% (97.2 million users) Nigeria has a much higher penetration rate than across Africa (18%).

About 71% of website visitors on Jumia use their mobile phones. This is in comparison to 53% of Jumia African customers. One of the main vehicles of this mobile trajectory is the increasing adoption of the smartphone device by consumers.

As predicted in the Jumia 2016 report, smartphone adoption continues to rise in Nigeria. The mobile phone category continues to be the most popular among Nigerian shoppers on Jumia, both in terms of the number of items sold, and in terms of revenue generated. The sales of smartphones jumped up by 394% between 2014 and 2016, mostly driven by an increasing range of smartphones price points.

eCommerce and the diversification of smartphones

The average price for a smartphone on Jumia is $117, down from $216 in 2014. Correlating with this is a drop in the share of sales of basic feature phones from 6% in 2015 to 4% in 2016, even as the share of smartphones on the website increased.

In 2016 Chinese mobile brands held dominance and played a major role in introducing smartphones with lower price points. Infinix, Innjoo, Tecno, Samsung and Yezz are the top five smartphone brands in terms of sales on Jumia.

Infinix continues to be Africa’s top smartphone brand across Jumia’s 15 markets. One of their entry level smartphones, the Infinix Hot4Lite was one of the best-selling phones across several African markets including Nigeria.

High data costs and lower performance smartphones

Currently, one out of two mobile visitors in Nigeria are coming from the Jumia mobile app

The increased access and affordability of low specification smartphones has also revealed a need for the mobile ecosystem to respond with data-efficient browsers and mobile apps that are optimised for performance and an easy user experience.

Looking at the mobile internet browsers that customers use to access Jumia, 50% of customers in Africa come onto Jumia’s mobile site with Google Chrome. In Nigeria that number is just 28%. Instead, the Opera mini browser is much more popular, with 41% of the mobile traffic to Jumia Nigeria coming from Opera mini.

One reason for this could be that countries with higher levels of income have been found to have more users accessing the internet with heavier browsers like chrome – which typically have higher system requirements.

In 2016 Chinese mobile brands held dominance and played a major role in introducing smartphones with lower price points.

Opera mini is a lighter browser in terms of data usage and is popular among new mobile internet users who have lower incomes and can’t afford costly internet data packs. A recent report from Opera determined the savings on mobile data costs for Opera mini users in Nigeria has amounted to about $198 million (N39.5 billion) over a 10-month period, due to its data compression technology. This is a clear example of the ripple effect that customer enjoy when a slight change is introduced by one of the digital ecosystem players.

For Jumia, an immediate key priority is to enhance the desktop user experience (which accounts for almost 30% of Jumia’s traffic and almost 40% of orders placed), by delivering a progressive web application that bridges the gap between conventional web pages and native mobile applications. This is to give customers a faster web and desktop experience that includes functionalities like push notifications and the ability to browse while offline.

mCommerce – beyond browsing on mobile

The trend since 2013 was for people to use their mobile phones to browse and look up products and then purchase them on their desktop. Now customers are checking out and paying for orders from the mobile app or the mobile friendly version of the website. This is a trend we foresee growing in the future based on the current figures.

Mobile customers (both those who use the Jumia app and those who browse from mobile browsers) account for 63% of all orders on Jumia Nigeria. Across the 15 markets where the study was carried out, that figure is at 47%.

With a whopping 2,236,000 Jumia app downloads from 2015 to 2016 (a 128% increase), Jumia app users form a significant portion of the mobile traffic on Jumia Nigeria. Currently, one out of two mobile visitors in Nigeria are coming from the Jumia mobile app.

The highest conversion rate recorded in the last year has been on the app. That is the number of completed orders in relation to the number of visitors is higher on the mobile app than on the mobile or desktop versions of the website. This could be driven by the fact that the app is exclusively designed for mobile and therefore has a faster and better shopping experience for users.

Hence, the priority for mcommerce for the next few years is to continually democratise the usage of the app and incentivise an increase in usage by maintaining a better browsing experience and lower data consumption.

Strategic collaborations

Strategic collaborations with phone operators and data providers are also a key factor for enhancing customer experience. For example, the zero data usage (free browsing) offered to MTN sim card owners when they browse on both the Jumia mobile site and the app will remain a key feature and value-added service for Jumia customers.

Nigeria’s mobile trends for 2017 are positive with a steady growth of smartphones adoption and diversity. These increased offerings deliver more value for customers and cheaper access to internet connectivity.
As smartphone brands and mobile operators continue to invest in research and development and innovative data packages, and ecommerce providers invest in customer service, logistics and marketing over the next few years, Jumia’s outlook is for an even more synergised digital ecosystem over the next few years.

Source:bizcommunity

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Technology

Three African-American Female Engineers Who Changed Our World

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Image source: Pexels

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) produce innovation that drives us forward as a species. Despite the fact that women and people of color have often been at the forefront of new discoveries, their representation within the STEM fields is historically low.

As culture progresses in understanding toward the value of a diverse workforce, those seeking out the future leaders of STEM are reaching out to underrepresented populations – specifically, women and people of color. One such outreach is ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’, a global campaign established by the National Society of Professional Engineers.

The event, which takes place this February 25, is run by teachers, volunteers, and STEM professionals, and includes engaging engineering-based learning activities that encourage young women to develop problem solving skills and indulge their interest in science and engineering.

The road to their future success was paved by the intrepid women who came before them, including these three remarkable African-American female engineers:

  • Kimberly Bryant: Seeking to create an inclusive technology learning space for young women of color, Ms. Bryant created the not-for-profit coding camp Black Girls Code. As of late 2019, the organization has 15 chapters, and Ms. Bryant has been recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion as well as one of 2013’s 25 Most Influential African Americans in Technology.
  • Dr. Patricia Bath: An early pioneer of laser surgery for cataract treatment, Dr. Bath was the first female member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, the first female African-American surgeon at UCLA Medical Center, and the first female leader of a postgraduate ophthalmology training program.
  • Alice Parker: A housewife from New Jersey, Mrs. Parker developed and filed a patent for a gas-powered central heating system inspired by cold coastal winters. Her filing came before both the Women’s Liberation Movement and the Civil Rights Movement, a remarkable achievement for an African-American woman during her time.

More stories of African-American female engineers and  female leadership in engineering can be seen here:

To discover more about Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, visit NSPE online.

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Press Release

North Ladder Secures $5 Million Series A Financing Round To Accelerate Global Expansion

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North Ladder Team (Source: Siddharth Sudhakar)

North Ladder (previously called BuyBack Bazaar), a UAE based secured trading platform for pre-owned luxury assets and electronics, today announced a $5 million Series A funding round led by regional venture capital firm BECO Capital. The new investment will help the company scale up its technology platform, enhance customer experience and pursue further geographic expansion.

The homegrown start-up also revealed that it will begin operating under the new brand name North Ladder effective immediately, representing the company’s strategy of charting new markets and supporting individuals across the globe in their endeavour to elevate their financial situation. The disruptive and innovative technology platform is the first of its kind, providing access to verified buyers of second-hand goods and instant cash. North Ladder currently enables users to sell electronics such as phones, laptops, tablets, and smart watches, as well as luxury assets including watches and cars, with a unique option of buying it back within a few months.

The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for North Ladder which saw rapid growth of its clients, network of buyers and corporate partnerships. To date, the platform has witnessed over 15,000 transactions in the UAE, with over 85 different nationalities served while earning an impressive 4.9/5 customer satisfaction rating. In 2021, the start-up is looking to establish its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States, with a focus on scaling the platform significantly in the next 18 to 24 months.

“North Ladder has demonstrated tremendous success with its unique model of helping customers access immediate funds against their assets. The provision of a seamless and trusted digital platform for the sale of pre-owned goods has immense socially transformative potential at a global scale. We are excited about partnering with them to take their services to the next level,” said Dany Farha, CEO & Managing Partner, BECO Capital.

The company recently appointed Sandeep Shetty, former Managing Director of the core ride hailing business at Careem, as Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of North Ladder. Prior to Careem he also led the digital transformation program at Emirates NBD and has held leadership positions at McKinsey & Company and GE Capital across India, the United States and the Middle East. Sandeep joins the leadership team of co-founders Pishu Ganglani and Ricky Husaini who together bring years of prior global start-up, financial services, technology and operations experience.

“Our exciting partnership with the region’s leading investor BECO Capital gives us the opportunity to scale operations in the UAE and expand to other strategic markets, with the mission of meaningfully impacting people across all strata of society,” said Sandeep Shetty of North Ladder. “Our global auction brings professional buyers from around the world to compete and provide local customers with the best prices and no hidden surprises.”

Since its launch in 2018, North Ladder has been recognized as one of the “Top 5 innovative start-ups in the MENA region” by PayPal backed accelerator, Village Capital and awarded as an Innovator by Entrepreneur Middle East.

 

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Gebeya Inc. Launches App to Accelerate Access to Job Opportunities and Skilled Talent on the Continent

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Gebeya Inc. announced the launch of its new app: Gebeya Talent. With this, the Pan-African online talent marketplace will expand access to its network across the continent and around the globe. African talent seeking their next freelance work opportunity will now have access to these features:

  • A quick and easy application process
  • Save time with automatic matching with exciting projects inline with their skill sets
  • No bidding; get paid at rates that represent their capabilities and experience level; get paid in multiple currencies
  • Being part of an engaging, growing community with exclusive professional networking, events, free upskilling, and mentorship
  • Showcase their best work via custom portfolio and profile

Prior to the release of the Gebeya Talent app, the process to apply to join our talent network was largely manual, requiring intensive human involvement. Now, leveraging improved processes and automation, the process has greatly improved. Throughout the year, additional features will be added to streamline and further optimize the process, and leverage the full power of artificial intelligence and automation. From application, to testing, from interview to onboarding, potential candidates can expect to enjoy a seamless experience.

“We strive to be THE most-referenced freelance African Talent company. Having fast, reliable, seamless digital tools at the heart of our marketplace is a MUST,” said Amadou Daffe, CEO and Co-founder of Gebeya. “Currently, the process for talents wanting to join our marketplace takes anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. “Our objective is that, with the Gebeya Talent app, we will be able to onboard a talent within 24 hours after they submit their application.”

A New Kind of Talent Marketplace

The year 2020 was abuzz with phrases like “future of work,” “gig economy,” and “remote work.” The release of the Gebeya Talent app proves that this bold, new future predicted has arrived. Access to opportunities for talent has expanded, as they are no longer restricted to their immediate geographic location; we follow a remote-first work model. And: anyone can download the app.

“This is only the beginning,” said Thierno Niang, Chief Platform Officer at Gebeya. “We launched a mobile app before a web application, because all of our talent have access to a phone. As we add features to the product, we will also expand to include a web app.”

The most in-demand talent for startups and corporations include: software development, graphics & design, project management, digital marketing, product management, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. But, as market needs evolve, so will the Gebeya Talent pool.

Best of African Talent for the World

The Gebeya Talent app grants access for talented professionals in Africa and its diaspora to join a community built with them in mind. Rather than bid against millions of freelancers in an anonymous pool of talent, they can be assured that every opportunity caters to their skill set and agreed-upon rate. No more underbidding, missed payments, or ghosted clients. Because Gebeya manages the entire process of matching, plus administrative and finance processes, talents are ensured timely and fair delivery of payment in exchange for their work.

Within the next three-to-five years, we anticipate identifying and vetting the top 100,000 talent. From that, we expect to onboard the top 20,000 best. If youre a talent from Africa or of African descent, seeking to join a community that will care about you, download the Gebeya Talent app and apply today.

A web-based application to connect clients of all sizes, including individual entrepreneurs, startups, and large enterprises with talent, will launch later this month. This will be for clients that are seeking to: diversify their workforce, augment their existing team, or expand into new markets without the hassle of opening a physical office. Our goal is that clients will be matched with talent within seconds, and within 24-to-48 hours of contract-signing, begin the work.

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