Africa: The Land of (Localization) Opportunity

58 percent of respondents in North Africa, and nearly 40 percent of respondents in Sub-Saharan Africa reported that the internet’s lack of culturally and linguistically-relevant content was one of the most significant reasons why these mobile users chose not to access the Internet. In Egypt alone, 70 percent of those surveyed identified this to be a problem.

These are just two of the takeaways from a study by GSMA Intelligence entitled Consumer Barriers to Mobile Internet Adoption in Africa.

Source: GSMA


The numbers tell us the story of a continent of opportunity, both digital or economic. 

This isn’t a chicken and egg problem, mind you. Companies such as Google, Facebook or Canva have been investing in localizing into African languages for some time, although there is still room to grow.

While mobile internet access across Africa continues to increase, the lack of localized content has a direct impact on user adoption. A growing user base accessing the internet via their mobile devices means more opportunities to do business.

By 2021, 72.9 percent of all e-commerce sales worldwide will be made using mobile devices, totaling USD 3.56 trillion.

Estimates by McKinsey & Company have the internet account for USD 300 billion of Africa’s annual GDP. While perhaps not the most fashionable choice when deciding for which markets to localize next, Africa definitely is a land of opportunity.

If you want to read more on the doing localization business in Africa, read Nimdzi’s full article here.

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