Africa’s Highest-Potential Mobile Markets, Part I: Nigeria


497951431Nigeria and South Africa are nos. 2 and 3, respectively, on the list of countries with the highest rate of Internet use, according to a recent survey.

The news isn’t surprising to us at BlackBerry, as we’ve been doing business in both of these countries for years. I thought I’d share some of what we know about Africa’s two biggest mobile markets, both of which promise lots of growth for mobile services in the coming years. This is the first post in a series of two, and focuses on Nigeria.

Nigeria: “The Giant of Africa”

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and has one of the largest youth populations in the world (CIA World Factbook). It’s also a growing market. Oil reserves fuel the country’s strong economy, which recently surpassed that of South Africa to become the biggest on the continent, with a $500 billion GDP, and a 7% growth rate (double that of Europe and the U.S.).

Fast-Growing Mobile Market

With more than 125 million subscribers, and a 75% penetration rate (2014), Nigeria is also Africa’s largest mobile market. Money transfers are one of the main drivers behind mobile’s popularity, both within the country, and international remittance coming in from Nigerians living and working abroad. So it follows that messaging is also big, as it’s an affordable way to keep in touch across borders. Mobile is also expanding access to basic services in the country, and has the potential to fill the gaps for millions of people.

Where these three drivers come together is in payments through messaging apps. At BlackBerry, we’ve already integrated BBM with TransferTo, and will be testing this kind of service in Nigeria very soon.

Read my full blog about Nigeria on LinkedIn.

About Matthew Talbot

I am the Senior Vice President - Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry. I have extensive International Management, Sales and Marketing background in Mobility and Cloud technologies, Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Content in both a “Start-Up” and Public company environment. This includes stints as a senior executive at SAP, Sybase, Mobile 365 and others.

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