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What Industries Are Booming In Africa Right Now?
Africa is the second-most-populous continent in the world behind Asia, with around 1.3 billion people living there in 2022. Africa is also the only region in the world where its population is younger, which means countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa are all going to play a role in future global business and technological developments.
Already we are seeing industries like mobile banking skyrocket in both popularity and revenue in Africa. In 2020, as reported by BCG, there were over 400 million users in sub-Saharan Africa using mobile payment solutions. Of the global growth in mobile money transactions that year, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for over 40% of all new accounts. This growth in mobile money in Africa is in part because, in the past, the continent has lacked proper infrastructure and access to financial services. Mobile money solves this problem, which is why Africa has been the fastest-growing continent of mobile phone growth, using these devices to help with socio-economic challenges.
Using mobile banking as an alternative to traditional banking is another reason why the cryptocurrency industry in Africa is booming as well. Virtual assets like Bitcoin only require a smartphone, much like mobile banking, and in the last year, Africa’s crypto market has grown by around $100 billion. Even after the Nigerian government ordered all banks to close accounts involved in cryptocurrency transactions in February 2021, crypto use continued its upward trajectory in Nigeria.
Former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey was very vocal on social media when this happened, writing that Nigeria has massive potential to become a leader in crypto, and if the government doesn’t accept the technology, the West African country risks getting left behind. Like mobile banking, cryptocurrencies give Africans an alternative to traditional banking, in addition to a way to hedge against currency inflation.
Aside from mobile banking and cryptocurrencies, Africa has also seen its online gambling industry increase in popularity over the years. In particular, sports betting is a popular gambling activity in Africa, with around $2 billion spent annually on sports wagers in Nigeria alone. Likewise, reports indicate that the majority of Kenya and South Africa’s gross gambling revenue comes from sports betting.
In South Africa, there are around 11 million gamers and casino operators and sportsbooks like William Hill are very popular, which makes sense. According to CasinoTopsOnline.com, a US casino review site, this casino operator amongst others allows players to try games without first depositing real money, ensuring they get the most out of their experience. One of the attractive features of online gambling is that most platforms can be accessed via mobile devices. As we have seen with mobile banking and cryptocurrencies, this is all it takes to get Africa’s growing youth population involved in an industry.
For years, the global business world has been watching Africa’s development in mobile banking. However, now eyes are also on Africa’s acceptance of cryptocurrencies and online gambling. It will be interesting to see how all three industries develop throughout the new year and if acceptance continues or enters a downward trajectory.