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Dec 20

Building Mobile Apps For Africa: Points to Remember

By zealousys

Sawubona SA!

As per a recent report by GSMA, 46% of the African population subscribes to mobile services.  This is equal to more than half a billion people.  Hence, this means increased mobile internet usage and certain points to remember when making mobile applications.

The Increase in mobile usage presents an opportunity for software developers. With its widespread adoption, mobile is the platform of focus. However, the following certain ‘points to remember’ are essential for business success.

Usage Patterns

Let us take the case of  South Africa (26.8 million users). The average time spent on social media apps is three hours. This is Followed by instant messaging platforms. Whatsapp is the most widely used IM app.  Moreover, this is followed by Facebook Messenger and BBM.

Also, for developers, this means a gradual shift from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-always’

Mobile Moments

As per Gartner, Mobile Moments are defined as:-

‘points in time and space when people pull out their devices to get what they want in an immediate context.’

Therefore, business owners need to tap these moments. One way to do the same is using IM platforms. In fact, IM platforms make excellent channels for customer service. Along with IMs, chatbots are the next addition.


[Courtesy: Forrester]

Workflow Automation

It refers to using software applications to automate day-to-days tasks and business processes. Some examples of tasks which can be automated are as follows:-

  1. Invoice Generation
  2. Check-out Cost Estimation
  3. Emails/Newsletters/Social Media (Example MailChimp, HootSuiteb etc)
  4. Team Collaboration  (Example Google Apps for Business)
  5. Account Management
  6. Sales Process Management

So what are the considerations while building an App (for Africa)?


The Takeaway

To conclude, the growing mobile economy offers a massive pool of opportunities. However, developers and entrepreneurs should research the UX sensitivities of the target population.

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