According to new research, across all consumer industries, innovation in sub-Saharan Africa is seeing new products and services offered to address challenges the continent faces.
Global market research company Euromonitor International revealed the top trends in the African retail market at its first conference in Johannesburg this week.
The research identified eight trends driving innovation in sub-Saharan Africa:
- Accommodating basic services: There is a long-term benefit in helping communities gain access to basic services, such as water, electricity, and agricultural expertise to develop farm lands.
- Going Rural: Urbanisation has been the standard metric for defining the development of a country. The continent has a lot to gain by looking at opportunities within rural areas.
- Sustainability: In a region that already suffers from droughts, heat stress and flooding, sustainability is not just about using recycled products but addressing water shortages on the continent.
- Local ingredients: Despite the wealth of ingredients available in sub-Saharan Africa, ingredients are still imported from other countries, as the technical expertise for processing is lacking.
- Technology: mobiles, hubs and Apps: Many Africans are using technology to create opportunities beyond mobile payments.
- Partnerships and cooperatives: Small business is fast becoming the success story of Africa, with many of them locally based and able to tap into the needs and interests of the local community.
- Go very local: While Africans are embracing modern technology, they also want to keep cultural and social nuances alive.
- Creative paying systems: Payment systems are helping businesses and consumers alike – get access to basic needs and services.
Matthew Carty, Euromonitor global sales director for academics, said: “The eight trends impacting innovation in sub-Saharan Africa provide insight into opportunities to win in Africa. These trends leverage local resources and infrastructures influencing the flow of goods between countries – or through the supply chain and into the hands of the end consumer.”
The sub-Saharan African market faces numerous challenges. Opportunities can be developed by turning challenges into concepts and turning those concepts into opportunities. The eight trends see innovation and solution-provision going hand in hand. This will foster economic empowerment, enabling Africa to continue its story as a continent on the rise.
Download a free copy of the presentations here: https://bit.ly/2Uyu5I4
Google announces its ‘Netflix for gaming’
The new gaming platform, Stadia, promises high-definition gaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices, writes BRYAN TURNER.
Google has announced that it has moved into the gaming space, and it focuses on two big aspects of gaming: streaming of games for gamers, which will allow gamers to game anywhere with a fast, low-latency Internet connection; and audiences that watch gamers in-game.
This is a big move in making gaming accessible to more gamers, as it reduces hardware costs, by utilising the benefits of low-latency cloud computing. This will be achieved by using a globally connected network of Google data centres. Gamers who stream games are most likely already using a high-speed, low-latency Internet connection, so access to the Stadia platform will be an added expense.
Through the Stadia platform, gamers will be able to access a large library of games at all times, with no installation time, on virtually any screen. Scaling of hardware like CPU, GPU, memory, and storage is also possible, as one would for cloud server resources.
Google will be leveraging its other platforms, like YouTube, with Stadia streaming. It claims that 200-million people are watching game-related content daily on YouTube. This allows, for example, Stadia players to jump in with other Stadia players – no downloads, no updates, no patches, and no installs.
For console players, Google has designed a custom controller.
The controller was designed to establish a direct connection from the Stadia controller to Google’s data centre through Wi-Fi for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in 4K resolution. It sports a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone, as many Google products do, for voice control.
The device is expected to be released later this year, pending FCC approval.
Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game
The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.
In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.
This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.
Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.
- Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
- Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
- Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
- Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
- Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.