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Unaffordable internet data hurdle to iGaming growth in Africa

As Africa continues to gain ground in the gaming industry, internet affordability remains out of reach for the majority of users across the continent 

mobile data According to various reports, this may change in the recent future as African leaders in the Smart Africa Alliance group have undertaken the responsibility to ensure a decrease in the cost of the internet by 50% in their respective countries from this year. 

This progress by the African leaders is a favorable initiative for the African population that have suffered from hiked internet charges. It will also act as a catalyst for the advancement of the digital transformation in Africa. Notably, Africa’s iGaming industry stands amongst the other sectors that influenced the positive change for the fall in internet charges.

However, one of the hurdles faced by the iGaming industry has been internet broadband connection and the cost of data bundle which was considered to be quite high. According to a study by Ecobank Research in 2018, Africa experiences the most expensive mobile data both in real and income.

The three most expensive countries for mobile data were reportedly Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, and Swaziland where a gigabyte of data costs more than $20. In comparison, the average price is estimated at $7.04 across the continent.

Furthermore, the majority of countries reported prices higher than the UN Broadband Commission target of 2% of monthly income. In reference to their definition, internet is affordable when 1.5 gigabytes of mobile data equates to roughly around 2% of average income.

Consequently, this could pose an issue as the majority of people in Africa have limited or no access to internet connection. It is reported that 800 million people live in areas without any network connection; 44% of the global population without coverage located in Sub-Sharan Africa.

Following a World Bank report:

Africa internetTo achieve universal broadband access, African countries will need to bring about 1.1 billion more people online. 

Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure states:

The working-age population in Africa is expected to increase by some 450 million people between 2015 and 2035. If current trends continue, less than one quarter will find stable jobs.

Though 100 million people living in rural and remote areas have no internet connection, it is forecasted that the number of internet users will increase by 11% and will capture 16% of the total global figure. The positive move by African leaders is expected to give beneficial growth to the iGaming industry in Africa. 

Source: E-Play Africa

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