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Online Technology Trends in Africa

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With Africa increasing steadily in population and technological advancement, there is no doubt that its countries are benefiting from massive leaps in tech expansion. From solar and alternative energy technologies to those based solely online, there is a growing market on the continent that is, as yet, not fully tapped into.

However, as more people on the continent connect, certain technologies are experiencing explosions among their user bases and are set to grow exponentially over the next decade.


Below are some online technologies with upward trends expected to take flight in the next few years. 

Artificial Intelligence

AI (or artificial intelligence) is an industry experiencing incredible growth internationally. With companies such as xAI, Meta AI, and ChatGPT fueling the raging fire of the industry, AI and ML (machine learning) are becoming a part of everyday life in many areas.

In Africa, this is no different. Thanks to the expansion of the industry and the readily available resources online, many countries are adopting AI and ML in various sectors. These include finance, health care, and even agriculture. 

South Africa is among the largest in Africa that have begun wide adoption of AI. Many healthcare providers in the country have started using AI to help simplify or speed up report production, patient diagnoses, and even treatment plans. 

In agriculture, artificial intelligence can model and forecast crop yields, planting schedules, and harvesting times. In addition, cloud-based AI linked to crop sprayers is even used to ensure crops receive the correct amount of water when needed.

e-Commerce

The ability to shop online has been prevalent almost instantaneously since it was first offered to users. In Africa, 2022 saw the e-commerce industry grow to a value of more than $33 billion—an increase from revenue of just $25 billion in 2020.

With over 600 million internet users on the continent (widely regarded as one of the highest penetration percentages internationally), an endless number of consumers use e-commerce websites. As a result, industry estimations predict the sector’s value will reach $59 billion by 2027.

This prediction is entirely realistic since global powerhouses in the market, such as Amazon, are eyeing African countries for future expansions. As such, many expect an e-commerce boom on the continent in the coming years. 

Online Gambling

Online gambling is among the vast array of online technologies growing internationally. While many African countries still prohibit gambling online using local laws and regulations, the pastime is becoming increasingly popular. 

Countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya allow the activity, though most only recently began allowing gambling sites to operate. Because of this, plenty of new African online casinos have been launched and reviewed on casinos.com.

With the growing number of sites and increased accessibility to them, the industry is experiencing massive growth and is expected to continue this upward trend. In 2020, the industry was valued at over $5 billion; just two years later, in 2022, it was almost $8 billion. 

Fintech

Fintech (or financial technology) refers to any online technology financial service providers such as banks use. In Africa, fintech products are more than just banking solutions—customers see them as lifestyle bundles that offer many services beyond simply maintaining an account. 

Experts predict the global fintech market will reach an industry value of almost $1.5 trillion over the next seven years. The most significant portion of this growth is expected to occur in Africa, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 32%.

A chief reason for this is much of the current African population is unbanked (not using or belonging to a bank). As fintech services unlock in these countries and offer secure and easy ways to store and transfer money, more people are registering accounts. 

The leaders in this market are South Africa (with products like those offered by First National Bank and Discovery Bank), Nigeria (with Flutterwave and Paystack), Egypt (offering PaySky and Money Wire), and Kenya (with companies such as BitPesa and Abacus).

Conclusion

Online technology has always had ups and downs—with booms in specific sectors and falls in others. However, Africa is set to be at the forefront of several massive expansions across various industries that rely on online technologies in the near future. 

Aside from offering African consumers a more convenient way to live, transact, bank, and find entertainment, this growth will also help accelerate innovation in various industries. As such, the expected upward trend is nothing but good news. 

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