Rapid Growth of Gaming in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The rapid advancement of science and technology has played a pivotal role in Africa’s remarkable gaming industry growth. A recent study by Carry1st and Newzoo sheds light on the increasing passion for online betting in South Africa and many other African countries, revealing that approximately 16% of the continent’s population actively engages in gaming. Even more astounding is that this number has doubled over the past five years and continues to rise exponentially, surpassing the growth rates of Western and Asian markets.

The surge in popularity of mobile gaming in Sub-Saharan Africa can be attributed to the affordability and portability of smartphones and tablets. It comes as no surprise that a significant majority of African gamers opt to play free or paid games on their mobile devices. In fact, the research indicates that an impressive 95% of African gamers prefer gaming on smartphones or tablets, placing the African market at the forefront of the global iGaming industry. Furthermore, projections indicate that the African mobile gaming market will experience a compound annual growth rate of 9.4% from 2020 to 2024, surpassing the growth rates of other regions.

This tremendous growth also signifies that Africa is poised to have the highest number of paying gamers worldwide. Countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia are notable hubs with a significant number of gamers. In 2021 alone, South Africa generated a staggering $290 million in annual gaming revenue. Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO and Co-founder of Carry1st emphasizes the significance of this report, stating, “Africa is the future of gaming. Thanks to the massive influx of young people coming online and a young and dynamic population, gaming in Africa is exploding. Crucially, this applies not only to people playing games but also those willing to pay as well.”

While Africa may still be catching up in technological infrastructure compared to other continents, the findings of this report underscore the region’s emergence as a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry. Africa’s youthful population, investments in network infrastructure, and the affordability of mobile devices have all contributed to the remarkable growth of the gaming industry. Savvy operators and investors recognize the immense potential of this booming market and are eager to tap into its vast opportunities. 

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