In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, Yahya Wane of Moobifun shares what operators need to do before venturing into the African market.
Venturing into the African gambling market is like going for a swim in a vast lake. Before diving straight into the market, operators need to understand what kind of market they are going into. They have to weigh the pros and cons before making a concrete decision on investing in the African market.
Yahya Wane pointed out that operators wanting to expand their business footprint in the African continent need to get a grasp of the different trends in 54 different countries.
Citing his experience, Wane said that many of the operators he had transactions with knew Africa as one big country with a President called Nelson Mandela.
“If you want to go to Africa, understand the market, understand the trends,” Wane told CalvinAyre.com. “[Africa] is 54 different countries, different jurisdictions, and different regulations. Get the right partners onside. Get the right local partners. Get the right technology, which is mobile, and then you’re fit to go to Africa.”
There are lots of opportunities for online gambling in Africa, especially now that the continent is seeing a mobile penetration rate of 100 percent, according to Wane. He noted that most African operators now capitalize on the popularity of mobile phones in order for their product to have a wider reach.
“The growth of mobile in Africa is huge. We have more mobile phones than we have people, actually,” he said. “We are past the time when you need to build brick and mortar businesses to get people. That way is no longer possible. You need to go mobile.”
Africans’ appetite for sports content is becoming insatiable and they are more than willing to pay more for content, according to Wane.
“So we are still surprised to see people actually subscribe to premium services to have access to sports content,” Wane said. “We have achieved more than 40 percent penetration rate in Ivory Coast with the info sports service, which gives us content. To any operator, we can provide a huge database and information.”
Wane, however, recognized that there’s still room for improvement in the African gambling market, including ironing out the “very complex” relationship between sports betting shops and mobile offerings.
“What we see today is that they are looking at each other as competitors. We are facilitators. We connect telecom operators to the gaming business,” Wane said. “We are a bridge. We try to make them understand that if they don’t work together, the business will collapse itself and tomorrow, we’ll have real, real problems.”