The West Africa early adopters report is launched in Lagos

Currently across the continent there’s plenty of released research and expertly craftly PR about the promise of digital in Africa.

Officially launched May 17th, 2017 at Mobile West Africa in Lagos #MWA2017, this report is the result of surveys conducted in Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana amongst 10,000 urban dwellers aged between 18 and 55 years old and early adopters of mobile devices especially smartphones. These early adopter snapshots are intended to add clarity to the big picture research and PR hype that surrounds the potential of the mobile device in Sub Saharan Africa by putting the consumer at the heart of your future strategy. The key insights are summarised in 7 points provided in the next pages.This report is brought to you by Yannick Lefang, founder of KASI Insight and Matthew Dawes, founder of Mobile West Africa.

This report is designed to cut through that to reveal where the opportunities actually lie, to see where companies and investors should invest time and resources. The research’s sole objective is to gain an understanding of the mobile users in West Africa habits and aspirations in order to slide and dice trends, opportunities and dispel assumptions and myths.

This bottom up approach to probe the complex consumer’s mind and gather insights on their perception of mobile and digital services was purposely aimed at getting clear answers to important questions:

  • What are the real opportunities for mobile in Africa?

  • Is mobile advertising a game changer in Africa?

  • Are consumers pain points really best solved with mobile apps in Africa?

  • Are there real opportunities in the app economy in Africa?

  • Is eCommerce a play in Africa? And if so how is it best realised?

  • Is FinTech disrupting banking in Africa?

The Early Adopters study generated a range of insights, including these findings:

The mobile ecosystem needs to have local mobile consumers at its heart. Early adopter research illustrates that life on the ground is fundamentally different than all-encompassing statistics, but there is a demand for services, products, and content that deliver every day value.

Don’t believe the e/mCommerce hype. Not only is the ecosystem required barely in existence to deliver for the consumer, the trail from customer acquisition to delivery to regular return is simply too long.

Mobile consumers are ready for FinTech as a means to achieve their financial freedom. Get your product offering right – mobile, secure, smooth, reliable. Offering customer-centric financial services is a very real opportunity. Technology is just an enabler / facilitator to delivering the necessary value.

Put content at the heart of your strategy - engage and develop your consumer base before going down the expensive and time consuming app route. Develop authentic and original content if you are targeting the diasporas and international markets. The mobile apps drum has been beaten for years now – do they actually fit the bill for Sub-Saharan Africa? Build a user base, test an idea, get some traction and then consider your options.

Marketing and social media go together like hand and glove as they take advantage of the core function of the mobile device – to communicate/connect within close societal groupings.

Our research has implications for startups, entrepreneurs and investors who are looking to tap into the mobile and digital economy of Africa. Follow us on Twitter for more insights @kasiinsight

About KASI Insight

KASI Insight is Africa's most innovative research and advisory firm. We solve problems that present challenges for most firms doing business in Africa - lack of fresh local market data and the need for contextual insight and innovative research methods. We provide market research, actionable insights and data driven advice from over 10 countries in Africa.

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