According to published data, the percentage of Africa's population using the internet across the continent is 28%, with some countries like Nigeria recording as high as 51%, at the time of this writing. (continues below... )
Compare the above to the fact that less than 15% of the continent browse the internet via computer, and it becomes obvious that your business could grow at least two or three times faster with a mobile-inclusive internet strategy, than without.
In other words, if your current business does not have a process to routinely engage the impatient, low-bandwidth, mobile consumer base of Africa, you're probably leaving 75% of your potential customers outside the door.
So, how well are our businesses reaping this trend?
In recent years many organisations have now taken the leap to own a website. This is commendable. However, while the availability of African websites is more and more in abundance across private and public enterprises, their functionality, and usability have left much to be desired.
And for the very few who are indeed functional and usable, their attention to the browsing pains of the African mobile user has been almost non-existent - save for the million dollar brands on the continent today. This is regardless of the fact that more Africans surf the Internet on mobile, than not.
Sure, many forward-looking organisations have responsive websites, that adjust to the screen sizes of their viewers. But review those technologies, or come within earshot of developers in the space (or their marketers) and you'll hear certain frameworks, proudly mentioned. "Angular". "Bootstrap". A few others. Technologies that assume you have decent internet access, that doesn't cost half the average income in your country.
Infact, a few of these technologies actually go deaf, dumb and blind when faced with the cost-saving browsers from Blackberry and Opera - used by more than half of Africa's Internet users (61% in Nigeria).
Respectfully, these technologies are good for business to business solutions, or any other application where your expected users have a desk/laptop, and average-plus Internet access.
They're also great for affiliating with cool offshore technologies at all cost.
However, if your plan is to reach the African mass-market with your business, or with your rural development initiative, then it's time you, and indeed our home-grown tech developers, began to work on home-friendly solutions to reaching the widest audience with our innovations.
So, when last did YOU, test your own website with a slow mobile connection? Or with Opera Mini?
Did it still deliver your value proposition with full impact, the way you've invested so much across your business to achieve? Does it still derive your desired action from the users, without putting up new barricades?
Infact, did all of it even appear at all?
If you scored yes on all these tests, then congrats. You're one of a few! If not, well you should know now, that you can instantly get double the results for your online advertising, by simply stepping your website up (or is it - down...?) to African Internet standards.
At Vanubian, we're leading by example on home-grown interface development, having built our own CMS to accommodate the severely limited browsers preferred by our markets, without losing the marketing effectiveness required by our clients for maximal ROI on their businesses.
As you start your journey to a more mobile you, do consider using our platform!