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Martech Expert Outlines 5 Defining Trends, Drivers Of Digital Economy In Africa


Elo Umeh, Martech expert and Managing Director of Terragon Group has outlined five (5) defining trends and drivers of the digital economy in Africa.

Umeh revealed the five trends in his presentation at the Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held recently in Lagos titled “The Rise of Data and Technology in Economic Development”. The five trends according to him are Rapid Urbanisation, Informal Sector Economic Activity, Demography fueling spend, Mobile-first, and Africa’s developer population 

He explained that the African urban population is on the rise which is an opportunity for brands to expand and reach more people., “Africa’s urban population is predicted to grow by 190 million people.” 

He added that “Most workers in this sector own a mobile phone, allowing access to digital connectivity.”

Similarly, according to GSMA, by the end of 2020, 495 million people subscribed to mobile services in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing 46% of the region’s population – an increase of almost 20 million on 2019. With more than 40% of the region’s population under the age of 15, young consumers owning a mobile phone for the first time will remain the primary source of growth for the foreseeable future.

In another vein, he stated that demography is fueling spending, stating that over 1.7 billion consumers and consumer expenditure of $2.5 trillion is projected to exist by 2030 which 

He said according to African Development Bank, “A growing middle class of over 350 million in SSA (excluding South Africa) is spending over $400 million per day. By 2030, Africa is expected to be home to over 1.7 billion consumers with a total consumer expenditure of $2.5 trillion.

Asides spending, he explained that 60% of the population accesses the Internet via mobile phones and by 2025, there will be 623 million users. 

The emphasis on the importance of mobile phones and why it is very for brands and marketers to reach their target market. 

In addition, he stated that Africa’s developers are on the rise which portents a lot of opportunities for the continent and businesses. He stated that according to Africa Developer Ecosystem 2021 report there are nearly 700,000 professional developers across Africa with more than 50% concentrated in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.

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