Millennials are driving the Increased dependency on technology and a mobile first approach in Africa. This is according to a recent GeoPoll rapid survey carried out among youth in five Sub-Sahara African countries between the ages of 18-35.
Africa has the highest youth population in the world with 200 million people aged between the ages of 15-24 with current trends indicating that this figure will double by 2045.
Millennials across the world are defined by their uptake of technology. Despite the lack of access to smartphones and reliable internet connectivity, the level of uptake and penetration in Africa has hit major milestones in the last 5 years. According to a report published by GSMA on Africa’s mobile economy in 2016, smartphone adoption in Africa has doubled in two years. Among Sub-Sahara African countries, South Africa has the highest number of smartphone subscribers at 34% followed by Nigeria, Senegal, and Kenya.
Like their global counterparts, African millennials are increasingly using download sites to access video entertainment and social media sites as tools for communication and a source of news and information. Mobile data continues to be the most used means through which African millennials access the internet. Social network platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and twitter have become an integral part of everyday life with over 60% using social media as their primary source of information. Television comes a distant 2nd at 25% with newspapers being the least important source 6%.
The use of social media platforms such as has become second nature to African Millennials’ lives; WhatsApp and Facebook rank among the platforms with the most usage. 56% have created and are most active on WhatsApp, while 31% are active on Facebook. Not only do African millennials spend more time on their smartphones than on any other gadget on a daily basis, but they are also more likely to be on WhatsApp chatting. A majority (46%) are actively engaged daily in at least 1-3 WhatsApp groups.
Phone addiction is starting to manifest itself among African Millennials as 48% use their smartphones while in the bathroom.
African Millennials are vanguards of a future Africa and technology is becoming an integral part of it all. As younger millennials continue to make their impact felt in almost every sector, a mobile first approach is crucial for any company that seeks to reach this culture rich group of image-conscious, educated and opinionated individuals.
This survey was conducted in February 2017 among 2,861 respondents between the ages of 18- 34 in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria.
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