Mobile Web Africa: Setting the Mobile Scene

As predicted Mobile Web Africa conference is rocking – and its not even lunch time yet !

A room packed from the mobile industry today gathered at The Venue Melrose Arch, Johannesburg for the fourth annual event.

Gustav Praekelt, Founder of Praekelt Foundation

Gustav Praekelt, Founder of Praekelt Foundation, delivered a critical analysis of the mobile web and apps opportunity in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a continent where Mobile phones in Uganda out number the amount of light bulbs – mobile is critical. Mr Praekelt’s standpoint that “universal access to information at a zero-cost basis is a basic human right” was evidenced through examples of Praekelt Foundation’s recent partnerships with Wikipedia and Vodacom.

Gustav discussed the launching a "free" Wikipedia in India that returns the first result for free as it goes over USSD

Gift Mphefu, Portfolio Manager at VodacomGift Mphefu, Portfolio Manager at Vodacom

Gift Mphefu, Portfolio Manager at Vodacom, shared details of the leading mobile network operator’s strategic vision and future plans.  Gift confirms that "the days of simply posting app on the app store and achieving success are long gone" personally I am not sure this was ever here…just saying.

Gift also shard stats about the Vodacom App Store:

  • There were 1 million download in the first 6 month since the launch of the Vodacom store.
  • The apps are divided up as follows : 51% are Java, 33% RIM, 11% Symbian, 5% Android

Gift predicts that by 2016 projected apps download revenues will reach $24 billion.

Lynette Anthony from Prezence Digital

Lynette Anthony from Prezence Digital focused on the fact that companies do not need an app where a Mobi site will work perfectly fine if not better.

Lynette confirms that “you get 100% revenue from the Mobi site vs an App where you share the revenue with the App however if you do go down the app route, make sure you develop for Blackberry and Nokia first and lastly develop for iPhone”

As the reality is in South Africa there are 9.5 million smartphone only 400k have iPhones whereby 40% are active app users and 310 000  iPads users verses Blackberry which makes up 48% of the market.

Mark Kaigwa

Mark Kaigwa, who I am sure is the Kenya ambassador relates how the Kenyan markets has changed. “a some of the hubs are based on the thinking there is endless talent – this is not the case.”

Mark continues to explain how M-Pesa 2.0 is taking Mobile Money to the next step with  M-Shwari  to removed the bank from the financial equation so someone can get loan based on your airtime spend – this is the new “Credit rating”

All Amber CEO, Matthew Dawes, commented, "For a fourth successive year the event has delivered, and the major reason behind that is the subject area. Stimulating access, products and services on mobile devices opens up a plethora of opportunities across society – it’s vital. That is what this event has been about since 2009."

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning blogger, YouTube strategist and Podcast. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging and real way that regular consumers can relate to. He also drinks too much coffee!

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