Increase in mobile learning VAS a major catalyst in Africa

Increase in mobile learning VAS a major catalyst in Africa

Mobile learning value added services (VAS) products in Africa have reached a total of 44 as of July 2013, acting as a major catalyst for the growth of mobile learning on the continent.

A September report by Ambient Insight said the Africa mobile learning VAS market is unique, with content varying in literacy, health and agro education, while the Asian and Latin American market content is dominated by language.

According to the report, Kenya and South Africa are leading the Africa region with eight and five mobile learning VAS products respectively.

South Africa’s m-learning market boasts Mxit, a large social network in the region and a native mobile platform.

The two successful mobile learning VAS products on Mxit include Quizmix, an exam preparation service for high school students and Cell School, which provides short video lessons and live tutors.

Nokia has also made available their Nokia Life mobile learning VAS in Uganda, Nigeria and now in Kenya.

They also announced they would make it available in fifteen additional countries in Africa including Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

Other major catalysts include adoption of tablets and personal learning devices in schools and availability of low-cost smartphones and fast networks.

Schools across Africa have just started using mobile devices in the classrooms and as of the end of 2012, hundreds of small-scale initiatives and large scale deployments have just started.

As part of the small scale initiative, in June 2013, Nigeria announced the Opon-imo (tablet of knowledge) programme that will distribute tablets to every secondary student in the state of Osun.

The same month also saw the Kenyan government announce a four-year $622 million project to provide computing devices to every primary and secondary student in the country.

According to the report, by 2017, tablets will be a distribution channel for educational content suppliers competing in Africa.

Low-cost smart phones and fast networks continue to roll out at a high rate in the Africa market.

The telecommunications industries across Africa are undergoing a rapid expansion due to the recent connections to international fibre optic cables.

This development will end dependency on expensive satellite connectivity and create a boom in internet and mobile technologies.

Device makers are now flooding the market with cheap smartphones as a result of the availability of fast networks.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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