This is a topic I did not expect to be writing about but a recent article in The Economist got me thinking about opportunities for social game companies in Africa. To be perfectly open, this is not a region I have focused on professionally since the late 1980s and I have no first-hand experience with monetization opportunities there. That said, I am going to be exploring the region further and think it may hold potential.
Here are the reasons I am giving Africa a look and ones you may want to consider:
- Africa is the second fastest growing economy in the world
- The population is over one billion (more than twice the US and about the size of India or China)
- Collective GDP is greater than India or Russia (about $2 trillion)
- The primary language in key African markets is English. These countries include Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana. Conversely, the primary languages in the BRIC markets (considered the key emerging markets) are Portuguese, Russian, Chinese while only India uses English as its main language for business
- As the social game industry evolves from relying on web platforms to mobile platforms, more Africans become potential game players. As I mentioned in my notes from the Mobile World Congress, it was amazing how many executives came from Africa
- Nigeria, which has a population of 158 million people, has been growing by almost 7 percent annually over the last eight years
- General Electric (GE) has just put its African HQ in Kenya
- Egypt, the country with the second largest per-capita GDP in Africa, recently held free elections and could become a magnet for investment in both Africa and the Middle East
- South Africa’s GDP per head is greater than China’s or India’s
I am still not sure if Africa is worth diverting significant resources to immediately, but it is definitely worth a closer look. It could be a great new revenue opportunity with much less competition than other social game markets.