Author: William Graebel, CEO, Graebel Companies
11 Aug 2014
In the last few years, Africa has made tremendous strides in economic growth and it is a trend that is likely continue in the years to come. At the heart of this transformation are technological advancements and innovation. In 2013, Africa realised major technological achievements, including increased internet penetration throughout the continent, setting the pace for an exciting 2014.
One of the most prominent developments has been the convergence of mobile technology within the financial sector. The next stage of mobile may fundamentally change operations, businesses, and marketplaces by delivering information and services to where decisions are made and transactions occur. The potential goes far beyond smartphones and tablets to include voice, gesture, and location-based recognitions; common interfaces across digital devices; and mobile computing that occurs anywhere, on any device.
Mobile money is a solution for consumers without easy access to a traditional retail bank. Across emerging markets, as much as 80 percent of the population are no longer using physical banks. In some countries, mobile financial transactions already account for 25 percent of GDP. This will only rise in the coming years.
of people in emerging markets don’t use physical banks
Setting a precedent
Countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda have already adopted the use of mobile money in the banking industry. This year, Kenya, one of the format’s early adopters, is set to double the users of mobile banking. It is just a matter of time before other services – such as insurance companies – join in and make mobile Africa’s undisputed method of payment.
Africa has surpassed Latin America’s year-on-year growth of 16.8 percent, with its own increase of 36.4 percent. This represents an excellent opportunity for companies to expand into digital and offer more services for 21st-century lifestyles in emerging markets, where many consumers access the internet for the first time from their mobile phones.
With the help of mobile banking, consumers in Africa are bypassing actual stores and shopping malls for the ease and simplicity of online shopping platforms. Areas of the e-commerce world will continue to gain traction and increase business opportunities. Jumia, a leading e-commerce platform in Africa, is already the fourth most visited website in Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation.
With a growing population and an escalating middle class, the ways to collect taxes, for example, will be digitally overhauled across Africa. Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said that by April 2014, all government services would be online under a new directive. In addition, the Rwandan government plans to have all of its government services online in the coming year. This growing trend will help decision-makers better understand how and where to spend taxpayers’ money most effectively.
Technology helps drive the customer experience. Customers in Africa are benefiting from online streaming television and digital film services, along with investment in original shows. Television streaming technology had only been successful in developed nations until now. A recently introduced television streaming service from Able Wireless enables users in Kenya to stream their favourite movies and films, and another internet provider is testing a similar service in Zimbabwe.
The benefits are immense, including access to high-speed internet for a low price, as well as curbing the pirate DVD market. With innovative content aggregation and delivery services, the continent is laying the groundwork for great consumer advantages.
For companies looking to take advantage of Africa’s tech boom, a global relocation management company like Graebel can be the difference between success and failure. When multinational companies select Graebel for their services, they are employing a global mobility and move management company that understands Africa’s economic growth, and is committed to providing affordable, high-quality services throughout the continent – as well as in 165 countries across six continents.
Graebel hand-selects each African partner carefully based on their integrity and tenure in the relocation industry. Once selected, these companies must participate in sophisticated training and certification programmes to ensure their ability to perform the outstanding services that the Graebel clients and its transferred people expect. Because Graebel has invested in the personal selection and development of locally owned suppliers, clients can count on dependable service while also directly supporting the development of the African economy and job creation.
Located in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions, the Graebel in-theatre staff administers and manages relocation and move management services. For example, in the Graebel EMEA centres, our knowledgeable global mobility industry experts are fluent in the cultures and languages spoken throughout Africa.
Leveraging our proven global supply network, Graebel delivers cost-effective, high-quality, on-the-ground services worldwide, providing regular communication with Fortune 500, Global 100 and government agency clients with commercial cargo removals, as well as removals and destination services for their transferring people.