Comparison between Kenya and South Africa. Image by @mariskaza
I’d like to direct you to this article by Mariska Du Preez titled “Mobile Technology: a comparative view between Kenya and South Africa“. Some hard numbers are given from research on the mobile market in both coutries, as well the state of the developer communities....
With populations roughly equal (42 M Kenyans to 50M South Africans) mobile penetration is way ahead in SA (84 % to 56%), and what’s interesting was the labor force statisticsw which reveals that for all the advances and investment made in ICTs Kenya is still primarily an agriculture driven economy with a labour force composed of 75% of agricultural workers compared to 25 % of mixed Industry and Services. This highly contrasts with South Africa where only 9% of the labour force comes from agriculture while Industry by itself brings 26% of the force and services a whopping 65%. Interestingly both countries have about the same ratio of internet users (4.2M to 6.8M) and data is substantially cheaper in Kenya while smartphone penetration is still weak.
Du Preez makes some interesting parallels about the developer communities in both countries, for example:
- Lots of young Kenyan obtain their degrees overseas and bring those skills back home
- South Africans on the contrary obtain their degrees locally then go overseas to gain international experience
- Kenyan developers are very “local solutions/socially” oriented while South Africans are more commercially and internationally driven. Erik Hersman founder of iHub in Nairobi dubs a globalized/regionalized focus amd gives Kenya an edge in mobile, not web innovation.
- Kenya smartphone penetration is very weak, so most developers develop for feature phones. Telling statistics, Mocality, a business listing app with 67000 users accounts about 2% of combined Apple RIM and Android usage.
A very interesting read indeed with good insight. Click here to read the full article.
Mariska also provided some good links on getting Internet stats for Africa
For African Internet Stats
For Mobile and Social Media Stats