2016 Outlook: Mobile, Drones are here to stay

by | Jan 5, 2016

Let’s jog our memories of 2015 with a quick run-down: PayPorte integrated offline with its online strategy and there were also a couple of ride-sharing platforms like Jekalo, Pair and GoMyWay.

DEMO Africa was back in Lagos, DealDey, ACE, Smile Communications and Paga got more funding, and Amazon started shipping directly to Nigeria and three other African countries.

However, this piece is not a prediction of what to expect in 2016. It is a consideration of what might happen based on previous years. Trust you will make use of the comment section in case we missed out one or more items.

Our expectations are centered around mobile which has come to stay in Africa, big data, drones among others. So, here we go.

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Increase in the use of drones

The year 201 5 witnessed a couple of new players in the eCommerce sector. Yudala, one of the new entrants made the first drone delivery.

Also, drones were being put to use in Africa in various other sectors of the economy like wildlife protection as well as security, and this year. We should look forward to having more initiatives centered around drones serving the continent in sectors like healthcare delivery, education, and even road traffic. That would be impressive, especially for Lagosians.

Mobile will continue to be an integral part of our lives

While other parts of the world might not have mobile at the top of their list, for Africa, mobile has become an essential part of our daily lives. Mobile has remained the major medium of accessing the internet for millions of Africans and payment, which will keep getting bigger.

On a global level, increase in wearables is one of the top predictions for the year but for Africa and Nigeria in particular, I don’t think we should expect a significant increase in adoption of wearables. Rather, we should look forward to increase in smartphone penetration.

The increase in smartphone penetration will definitely be accompanied by a significant increase in locally relevant mobile applications as well as games, and increase in mobile payment usage.

For Africa, payments remains one key part of mobile and one cannot overlook this in the technology industry in Nigeria, even in 2016.

Our expectations should be on a drop in the use of physical cash and a significant increase in mobile payments in form of peer-to-peer, utilities bills payment among others.

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To win the the ecosystem as far as the larger portion of the populace is conceredn, it’s something like ­’build for mobile or pack‘. Even Facebook in the second quarter of 2015 had mobile at the top of its earnings’ table.

Reliance on Big Data

Nigerian businesses will start banking on big data to make decisions.

Definitely, with the likes of payment which will continue to grow on a national scale, eCommerce players, with their huge data and these players and their suppliers or merchants would look forward to insights from these data to make decisions.

The growth of mobile payments will also prompt reliance on big data on the part of the operators in a bid to monitor, track or optimize the media.

With more deliveries from or usage of TrackEnvoy this year, its addressing-algorithm will continue to get better, thereby making it easier for subsequent dispatches as well as other logistics company in Nigeria.

Other anticipations for the year include increase in doing businesses the social and mobile way by SMEs. The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) had predicted a harsh business environment for telecom operators, and that was even prior to the MTN fine. It would be awesome to see ideas birthed at hackathons and competitions really seeing more than the first 12 months.

And talk of local content, I’d want to see the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) spending less on advertisements and reducing the cost of domain names.

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Yinka Awosanya
Yinka Awosanya

Mobile & African Tech Enthusiast │ Data Analyst │ Music

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

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