Four Tech Trends That Are Reshaping Africa

Stephen chukumba April 05, 2016


Mobile platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook have revolutionized business and social life in African countries. (Photo:

  • Mobile.

As a mobile industry veteran, I have watched the advances in mobile from short codes to apps and everything in between. We’ve gone from bricks, to flips, feature phones, to smart phones to phablets (phone + tablet). Mobile phones have been big, then small, then big again, and the processors that power them rival the processing and storage capacity of desktop computers.

Today, we do more on our mobile phones than we do on our computers, and that trend shows no signs of slowing or reversing. If that’s the global trend, it’s even moreso the case in Africa, where many cities and countries lack the wired infrastructure of more developed nations. But far from being a handicap, this lack of infrastructure has allowed Africa to leapfrog a developmental step and go straight to mobile. As a result, the adoption of mobile in Africa rivals that of the United States.

But the innovations transcend the devices themselves to the ways mobile devices are being utilized. While developed nations have mobile banking, mobile wallets and multiple mobile payment options like Google Wallet, Apple Pay and PayPal, mobile money transfer and exchange is a uniquely African innovation. Perhaps the most widely known money transfer system, M-Pesa, allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services  easily with a mobile device.

Last Edited by:iboateng Updated: April 5, 2016


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