The gaming industry in Africa has experienced phenomenal growth in the past years. According to a 2017 study by KPMG, mobile gaming has penetrated 35 out of the 52 countries in Africa. The online gaming industry is valued at USD18bn and continues to accelerate rapidly. The growth of mobile networks in creating a robust platform for online gaming in the continent.

Factors Facilitating the Growth of Online Gaming

Other than the Telco sector, various other factors have led to the explosive growth of online gaming in Africa. Banks are increasingly focusing on the mobile space by creating wallets and apps for payments all over the world. Also, the ease of payments through the mobile strategy employed in Africa has facilitated the growth of gaming. In fact, according to analysts, payment solutions are a vital factor in the rapid growth of the online gaming industry in Africa.

The legal landscape in Africa is conducive to online gaming and in particular south Africa where online casinos are very popular. While some countries officially disallow online gaming, there are grey areas in the regulations throughout the continent. According to a recent report, South Africa is a pioneer in gambling legislation in Africa. While online gaming is not entirely legal, people play online through offshore-operated and owned gaming sites in South Africa. Other countries that have regulated online gaming in Africa are Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Angola, Congo DRC, etc.

The rapid penetration of internet in Africa has been instrumental in the rapid rise of online gaming in Africa. Internet penetration in Africa is estimated at 31 % of the population and mostly used for accessing mobile data. Further, 67% of Africa’s population is under 35 years of age. This implies that the landscape in Africa is ideal for the growth of online gaming with a young, technology-savvy population.

Future Outlook

In October 2017, promoters Clarion are launching a dedicated event for the promotion of online gaming in Africa. This will provide a platform for various companies to meet and strategize according to the gaming needs of the continent. The promoter, Clarion, aims to establish basic best-practices in the gaming industry through this inaugural event. Such events will be instrumental in the organization of the gaming industry throughout Africa. Further, business-to-business conferences will provide an opportunity for international players to get first-hand information about the online gaming industry in Africa, and strategize their entry strategies.

Security and privacy concerns persist in the online gaming industry worldwide. Similar interests exist within players in Africa as well. The users in this sector can be fickle and change providers based on their perception of their trustworthiness. The security concerns in the industry range from online fraud to players beating the system through software hacks. Also, the management of data acquired by online gaming companies should ensure that player’s personal information is safe. These issues must be addressed to ensure the continued growth of the gaming industry in Africa.

The opportunities in online gaming in Africa are endless. Many international players are eying the African gaming market. The growth of mobile networks and various online payment options are fuelling the robust growth of this industry. However, the online gaming industry in Africa needs to create best-practices and security procedures that ensure that online gaming grows at a continuous pace.