The Future of Gaming in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Gaming Industries in many African countries constitute sectors of the economy poised to facilitate national development and economic growth in important ways. Although the gaming industries in most African countries are still very young, the trajectory of their growth within the past 10 to 15 years indicates that the sector’s contribution to the greater economy will only continue to grow. As a matter of fact, the rate of growth seems to only be getting greater and greater, as is common with most technological advances. Demographic trends, Increasing standards of living, and improving availability for the funding for digital infrastructure are all major contributors to the growth potential of this industry.
Africans are young
According to a 2021 world global data statistic, nearly 900 million Africans are 17 or younger. This fact makes Africa the continent with the youngest population in the whole world. As the United Nations pointed out, “Having a young population brings many opportunities for economic growth and innovation, if these opportunities can be recognized and utilized.” In the context of the gaming industry, the youths’ involvement and contributions cannot be understated. For example, on the consumer side, games are often developed with the primary target audience being the younger generations. With such high percentages of young people on the continent, the demand driving the industry is significant and will only continue to increase for the foreseeable future.
Extreme poverty is on the decline in much of Africa
Increasing standards of living are good for business when it comes to gaming in Africa. When people’s wages are insufficient in providing for their basic needs, the prospect of paying for services or products such as those involved in gaming become very low if not completely untenable. With the increased availability of discretionary income, the production as well as consumption of all forms of gaming products and services will surely blossom.
Infrastructure trends will facilitate the continued growth of the Industry
When we consider sustainable development in African nations , an obstacle that repeatedly appears is the lack of adequate pre-existing infrastructure to support the development. These limitations range from the lack of funding institutions available to local entrepreneurs or potential developers to the lack of adequate technical infrastructure to support the innovations and ideas of the entrepreneurs among other things. In the context of the gaming industry, the extent to which the Information and Communication Technology sector of an African country is developed fundamentally influences the success of the gaming industry in that country.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is a broad term but it vaguely refers to all devices, networking components, applications and systems that combined allow people and organizations to interact in the digital world. Some components of ICT for example include phones, TVs, computers, internet, and artificial intelligence. In Africa broadly, around 40 percent of the population has access to the internet. It’s important to note that Africa is a whole continent and so there exists a lot of variability in internet access between different regions and countries (e.g South Africa and Morocco are far more connected than Eritrea and some other east and central African countries).
This relationship between ICT development and the growth of the gaming industry is perfectly exemplified when we look at the case of South Africa. By a considerable margin, South Africa leads the continent in its information and information technology infrastructure. Accordingly, it has the most developed gaming industry on the continent. Some other examples include Nigeria and Kenya.
Funding of entrepreneurs and developers is crucial
As we know, it takes money to make money. It also takes money to actualize ideas and innovations. For many skilled developers and entrepreneurs in the gaming space in Africa, raising funding for their ideas is often a limitation that stops the whole project in its tracks. Even in African countries with more developed ICT landscapes, gaming related enterprises are not prioritized.
Instead the majority of ICT in Africa “is based on necessity, so fun and games are not always part of the action.” Though reasonable, this fact neglects to appreciate how innovations and developments in the gaming industry also contribute positively to the further development of a region’s technological sector. The relationship between the two is more of a feedback loop as advancements in developing models and simulations (a staple of gaming) evolves over time creates a necessity for greater computing power which, in turn, ultimately boosts the ICT of the region and continent as a whole.
Keywords: Gaming, Games, Game in african,
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