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Facebook booms in Africa

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Recent research has shown that African Facebook users has grown to 120 million users in June 2015, up from 100 million in September 2014.

Facebook has shared new statistics revealing that 2.2 million Kenyans use Facebook every day and 4.5 million each month, while 7.1 million Nigerians use Facebook daily and 15 million are active every month.  Almost all these people are coming to Facebook on a mobile device: 100% of Nigerian monthly users are active on mobile as are 95% of Kenya’s monthly users.

This follows the recent announcement that Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones. Now, 60% of all Internet users in Africa are active on Facebook.

Nunu Ntshingila, newly appointed Head of Africa at Facebook, said: “At Facebook, we have a saying that we’re only 1% done, and this couldn’t be truer for Facebook in Africa. I’m only beginning this journey, and I’m already incredibly inspired by the power of connection – from the smallest moments to fostering global conversations. Everyone on Facebook has a story, and I can’t wait to hear the stories from Kenya and Nigeria firsthand.”

Ntshingila continued: “Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest adoption of disruptive technology in history of communication. It’s also an incredibly personal device regardless of where a person lives or how they connect, and businesses need to reach people where they are, not where they were, in an authentic, personal and relevant way. I look forward to spending time with businesses across Africa to understand how we can work together.”

Facebook recently opened its first office in Africa to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally. The new office is the next step in furthering Facebook’s investment in Africa and its people. The team in Africa will focus initially on Kenya (East Africa), Nigeria (West Africa), and South Africa (Southern Africa).

Ari Kesisoglu, Facebook’s Regional Director for MEA, said: “We are committed to creating solutions tailored to people and businesses in Africa. We continue to spend time with businesses to learn about how we can work together to create better, more flexible and less fragmented ways for businesses to reach people in Africa.”

KEY STATS

Global: Q2 2015

Facebook’s usage and engagement continues to grow:

  • Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 968 million on average for June 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year. Now 65% of monthly active users are also daily active users.
  • Mobile DAUs – Mobile DAUs were 844 million on average for June 2015, an increase of 29% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.49 billion as of June 30, 2015, an increase of 13% year-over-year. (This is half of the world’s internet population of 3B)
  • Mobile MAUs – Mobile MAUs were 1.31 billion as of June 30, 2015, an increase of 23% year- over-year.
  • Time spent: Across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, people are now spending more than 46 minutes per day on average.
  • 65% of people who use Facebook come back every day.

Kenya: Q2 2015

  • 2.2 million total daily active users (DAUs)
  • 2.1  million mobile DAU
  • 4.5 million total monthly active users (MAUs)
  • 4.3 million mobile MAU (95% of MAUs)

Nigeria: Q2 2015

  • 7.1 million total daily active users (DAUs)
  • 6.9 million mobile DAU
  • 15 million total monthly active users (MAUs)
  • 15 million mobile MAU (100% of MAUs)

South Africa: Q2 2015

  • 7.3 million total daily active users (DAUs)
  • 7 million mobile DAU
  • 12 million total monthly active users (MAUs)
  • 12 million mobile MAU (100% of MAUs)

Africa News

Africa phones go flat

Africa’s mobile phone market declined 2.1% quarter on quarter in Q3 2018 according to the latest figures from IDC.

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The global technology research and consulting firm newly released Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows overall shipments for the quarter totalled 52.6 million units, with feature phone shipments falling 2.7% QoQ and smartphone shipments declining 1.3% over the same period.

Transsion brands (Tecno, Infinix, and Itel) led the feature phone space in Q3 2018, with a combined unit share of 58.2%. Nokia was next in line with 11.7% share. Transsion, Samsung, and Huawei dominated the smartphone space with respective unit shares of 34.9%, 21.7%, and 10.2%. However, in value terms, Samsung led the smartphone market with 37.2% share, followed by Transsion (21.0%) and Huawei (13.0%).

There were differing fortunes in the region’s three major markets, with Nigeria suffering a heavy 11.6% QoQ decline in mobile phone shipments, while South Africa and Kenya saw respective QoQ growth of 8.5% and 7.9% in Q3 2018.

“The decline in Nigeria stemmed from a slowdown in government spending, ongoing warfare in the country’s northern states, and market uncertainty in the lead up to elections,” says George Mbuthia, a research analyst at IDC. “In South Africa, the market’s growth was spurred by the penetration of low-end devices from brands such as Mobicel, Mint, and Nokia, while the launch of entry-level smartphones helped drive growth in Kenya despite increases in taxes and fuel prices placing a significant burden on disposable income in the country.”

While feature phones remain steadfastly popular across Africa, particularly in more rural areas, consumers are increasingly being attracted by smartphone offerings from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei, which are actively targeting feature-oriented customers at more economical price points.

“There is a new wave of Chinese brands aggressively pursuing growth opportunities in the region, while the more-established Huawei is also accelerating its marketing efforts and expanding its distribution budget,” says Ramazan Yavuz, a research manager at IDC. “These brands have quickly progressed along the learning curve and evolved their offerings to perfectly reflect the realities of the region by addressing the diverse pricing and feature needs of the consumer base.”

Looking ahead, IDC expects Africa’s overall mobile phone market to reach 58 million units in Q4 2018, spurred by the festive season and online consumer events such as Black Friday. The introduction of more affordable smartphones in the African market will help drive progress in this space over the coming quarters, while the share of feature phones will decline steadily as the transition to smartphones gathers momentum.

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Africa News

Mobile money to cross borders

Orange and MTN launch pan-African mobile money interoperability to scale up mobile financial services across Africa.

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Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group and MTN Group, today announced a joint venture, Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), to enable interoperable payments across the continent. Mowali makes it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost.

Mowali will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money and Orange Money, bringing together over 100 million mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets. Mowali is ready to enable interoperability between digital financial service providers beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, to support the existing 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa.

Mowali is a digital payment infrastructure that connects financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. It functions as an industry utility, open to any mobile money provider in Africa, including banks, money transfer operators and other financial service providers.

The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants.  Mowali enables money to circulate freely between mobile money accounts from any operators in all countries.  From the customer’s point of view, this means “I can pay or receive money anywhere from my mobile account regardless of my operator”. The system will unlock further innovation in the digital financial space within the continent. 

For Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange, “by providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa. Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities. This solution embodies Orange’s ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders, MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services. “

“One of MTN’s goals is to accelerate the penetration of mobile financial services in Africa, Mowali is one such vehicle that will help us achieve that objective. Furthermore, co-operation and partnerships that help us accelerate the pace of development and overcome some of the scale, scope and complexity of challenges that society faces are key. This partnership with Orange is therefore an important step in helping us play a meaningful role in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing socio-economic development in the markets we operate in and beyond. Thus giving our customers access to a bright, digital future.” said Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN.

The GSMA supports the Mowali initiative as interoperability at this scale is a key accelerator for both financial inclusion and Mobile Money usability across Africa.  “Today, there are over 690 million mobile money accounts around the world. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across Africa, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities. The creation of Mowali will help to further transform mobile financial services throughout the African region. It demonstrates the mobile industry’s continued leadership and commitment to driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment through industry collaboration. The GSMA is proud to support its development,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome, in support of financial inclusion. With Mowali, Orange and MTN deliver a solution that will enable them, and other companies, to scale digital financial services across Africa, faster, to everyone—including the poor,” said Kosta Peric, deputy director of Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “This is a signal that a new wave of innovation, which can help alleviate poverty and drive economic opportunity, is coming. We’re pleased to see an implementation of Mojaloop—an open source payment platform available to operators across the sector—help achieve that.”

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