You might have seen the recent story on this website about Leti Games, the first game studio in Ghana and one of only two in sub-Saharan Africa. It really made me think about how nascent the games industry is in Africa, and the fantastic opportunities that exist for companies as the mobile market takes off there.
Leti Games had to train up their own developers, presumably because the skills base isn’t there yet, but the mobile user base in Africa is growing fast. Many apps from outside Africa will be marketed there, and will see great success as a huge new community discovers them.
The most valuable and popular apps, though, are likely to be those that reflect the cultural priorities and needs of people within Africa, and these will probably emerge from local developers.
To help to build the developer community in Africa, Intel has created the Intel Africa Developer Zone. It provides details on the resources that Intel provides to help developers to create and market software for Android, the Cloud and the Ultrabook.
Intel is also working with iHub to make targeted investments in mobile application development, university training and technology hubs to help grow the software development community in Africa.
Intel is taking part in various industry and developer events, too, including PivotEast in Uganda in June, which is a competition in East Africa for pitching mobile start-ups with an accompanying conference. The event has taken place every year since 2011, and represents a fantastic opportunity to make contacts within the African technology community.
Africa has been called a ‘mobile-first’ continent, because 80 to 90 percent of the people there have skipped the desktop generation and gone straight to smartphones.
In January, communications provider Safaricom announced the Yolo smartphone for Kenya, the first one in Africa with Intel Inside. It uses the Intel Atom processor Z2420 which runs at up to 1.2 GHz, but combines that power with a reasonable price point.
For developers in Africa, devices like this present two opportunities. First, there is the domestic market, which will support growth of the developer community as the user base grows.
Secondly, because Intel technologies are used worldwide for smartphones, tablets and portable computers, there is an opportunity for developers in Africa to market their creations to the rest of the world.
Two categories of apps are expected to be particularly valuable in Africa: edutainment and infotainment.
Edutainment software combines learning with fun, and could play a valuable role in helping to educate young people in areas where schools are inaccessible or unavailable. While apps cannot be a substitute for real schooling, they can provide additional tailored learning opportunities to augment schooling, or to help to provide a basic education where schooling is impossible.
Infotainment is all about packaging information in a way that is entertaining, and it could play a valuable role in informing people of all ages about healthcare and topical issues, especially in regions where newspapers or other Internet devices are scarce.
To find out more about the software development opportunities in Africa, visit the Intel Africa Developer Zone.
• This blog post is written by Softtalkblog, and is sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone, which helps you to develop, market and sell software and apps for prominent platforms and emerging technologies powered by Intel Architecture.