Technology is revolutionizing Africa at a very high rate, with mobile technology in particular being adopted widely across countries, as it has proven to be the fastest and most effective way of growing Africa’s economy as well as improving the lives of people.
According to a recent survey done this October by global mobile research company, On Device Research, access to mobile internet in Africa has created a life changing impact on majority of people, with Kenya topping the list as the country with most influenced people.
The research, which focused on the three major technology hubs in the continent, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, found out that in Kenya 68% of the people said their lives had been changed by mobile internet while Nigeria attracted a 62%, followed by South Africa at 61%.
“The introduction of the mobile internet in Africa is more transformative than most people in modern countries realise. It’s not just a slight improvement, it’s a step change,” said Alistair Hill, the CEO On Device Research.
With mobile, people today have better access to information, better connection to family and friends in different countries, easier ways of paying bills through the mobile money transfer services that also provide for online payments, as well as access to better and improved education.
Most people in the three African countries said that access to education through the online platforms had greatly influenced their lives as it is offered at a more effective and cheaper way than the offline learning.
The report also indicates that the smartphone age, where most Africans are now upgrading to so as to catch up with technology, has improved and increased the use of data services such as map navigation, watching videos and playing games.
Mobile internet has also become the largest media channel in Africa, with advertisers taking note that is has overtaken TV in the advertising sector.
According to the research, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria use mobile internet as a media channel more often than they do other mainstream channels, with mobile internet taking a 79% response as opposed to 63% for TV, 49% for Radio and 34% desktop internet.
In mobile banking and payments, Kenya takes the day with the largest use at 82%, a figure that is attributed to the country’s mobile money transfer service from Safaricom, M-PESA, which has received great success. Nigeria follows at 75% and thereafter South Africa with a 63% use.
Recently, banks and governments in countries across Africa are partnering mobile network service providers to introduce the mobile platform in making payments in efforts to offer better customer satisfaction and grow the countries’ economies.
According to the report, mobile money usage in Africa is highest among the youth generation of ages between 16 and 34.
Comparing the impact of mobile in Africa with that in the UK, the research reported that many Africans use mobile as the way to access online services and resources while people in the UK used mobile as just the other way of accessing information already available on their personal computers.