Mobile apps increasingly on a growth trend in Africa

A survey by Mobile Monday of the mobile innovators and trends in Africa has revealed a steady increase in the number of mobile innovations and their applications in the continent.

Mobile Monday attributed this to the steady decrease in the prices of smartphones and lowerd tariffs across the continent.

Mobile Monday’s Fourth Annual Mobile Africa Research report that contained interviews and statements from industry leaders across Africa named the best applications including M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer in Kenya, Instant Messaging apps such ast Mxit,ForgetMeNot, 2Go and mobile social media apps like Motribe.

With regard to pricing innovations, dynamic tariffs have worked well with a few key operators to drive voice usage and can be replicated for data usage, according to Khalil Al Hindwan, SVP and General Manager, Acision, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan.

Africa is rich in innovation, especially when it involves mobile services targeted at the under-served segment of the social community, observes Carlyle Fernandez of Nokia-Siemens Networks.

“The best known example of end-user related service innovation is probably mobile payment related innovations, such as M-Pesa in Kenya. This was the first-of-its-kind service in Africa, where users could conveniently receive and send money, and pay bills from their mobile phones without having to have a bank account,”Fernandez said.

He added that the type of service has been adopted by various other operators across Africa hence giving the early operator-adopters a competitive edge with regard to brand loyalty.

Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, hailed the Ushahidi platform where developers can overlay crucial information over maps and deliver much sought after information. Another spotlight shone on JamiiX, a counselling platform used in Africa, Asia and Europe, but started in Cape Town.

The founder, Marlon Parker used instant messaging service, MXit to provide much needed online counseling to drug addict reformers.

Many other African mobile startups were given a limelight to show how effective they are in their different capacities.

The report was a culmination of the 10th Annual Innovation Africa Digital Summit held in March this year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The annual report identifies the best practices and emerging trends for mobile innovation in Africa. It also highlights the increasing profile of award winners from Africa, in mobile excellence competitions in the region and globally.

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