Local content takes centre stage at 2012 Mobile Web West Africa

Developers in West Africa have been urged to produce simple and easy to use local content in a bid to take advantage of Africa’s booming mobile space.

Speaking at the 2012 Mobile Web West Africa held in Lagos, Ayo Alli, in charge of business development at Eskimi, said developers and entrepreneurs in West Africa may fail to make an impact in the growing mobile and Web ecosystem in Africa unless they produce easily accessible and simple to use local content.

Africa is the world’s fastest growing regions in terms of cellular connections with an estimated 700 million people using mobile phone, according to the wireless intelligence.

“The developers and entrepreneurs know ‘content is king,’ but they fail to make it easily accessible to the people or fail to make it enjoyable,” Alli said.

According to him, developers may have the best content in the world but without users, the contents remain meaningless.

Speaking to mobile developers and entrepreneurs at the event, Alli said although simplicity and accessibility of the product is important, making the content enjoyable was key. He added that Eskimi’s success story in Nigeria was a reflection of what consumers enjoy.
Eskimi, a Lithuania-based mobile social network that focus on mobile flirting, has more than 2 million Nigerian users, and another 5 million across the globe.

Of the more than 209 million mobile phone subscribers in West Africa, Nigeria has around 100 million, which Alli sees as a potential market for content providers and mobile advertisers in Nigeria.

Google advertising professional Abas Idaresit said 60 percent of all searches in Nigeria come from mobile devices, and although Nigeria is Africa’s biggest mobile market, most Nigerians have low-end phones, which make it hard to access the contents including news, music and adverts.

Isis Nyong’o of InMobi told HumanIPO a huge potential for mobile content and advertising exists in the long term. She explained that it is the reason InMobi is investing in the mobile space.

Nyong’o claims there are 90 million mobile subscribers compared to the 10 million mobile websites. She believes that there is huge potential for good mobile content for mobile web and applications in Africa.

African mobile entrepreneurs and developers within the mobile Web space attended the 2-day event themed ‘taking the monetisation and content creation dialogue to the next level’.

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