Mobilising Apps for Africa

AfricApps 2013 is set once again, to energise AfricaCom 2013. Boasting (and yes, we can brag a bit), a stellar line-up of speakers and no less than two different interactive developers workshops, AfricApps is a practical guide to understanding the nascent Apps developers market on the African continent and how to monetise developed product.

Developing mobile apps for the African market presents unique challenges. But it is these same challenges that have led to thrilling innovation and solutions developed by a whole new raft of apps developers. While the majority of apps are developed as Value Added Services (VAS) and supplied by networks or corporates pushing messaging and services, the last 12 months has seen a rise in so-called garage developers. This change has been prompted primarily as a result of people requiring a solution for a real problem in their real life world and they have gone out there and created the solution for themselves.

With the increase in penetration of mobile smartphones and broadband coverage continuing unabated across the continent, the African Apps market is attracting more and more individual developers. Often without formal coding experience, they are driving innovative and engaging methods for informing, educating and interacting with new audiences and business and even government are taking note. One such example is Go-Metro, a resource app developed by start-up Mobi.Lity who will share their insights at AfricApps 2013. Go Metro delivers up to the second information on schedules, delays etc to train commuters. It also allows for feedback from commuters which it shares with its partners such as Cape Town’s Metro Rail which is helping to upgrade travellers’ experiences.

Also, following the success of the 2012 event, and taking advantage of the growth in this sector, a Mobile Apps Dragons Den on 13 November 2013, will once again provide an opportunity for developers to pitch their wares.

But it’s not enough to create a new App and hope that someone will discover how good it is. It’s vital to know how to promote and market this new creation. Google’s Technical Account Manager, Daniel Acton, will therefore lead an interactive session that covers this aspect of getting an App out there as well as combining good content with a social angle and how to utilise the full potential of Google in relation to your App.

Apps developers will also be given the opportunity to know the framework in which they are working in the 21st Century. Understanding the evolution of user consumption; how to make applications applicable to diverse audiences and the role of Google in the African Apps ecosystem, will provide ammunition for a robust and sustainable industry.

AfricApps at AfricaCom provides a rich and stimulating environment for networking and knowledge sharing and is not to be missed. For a full line-up of what’s on offer, we encourage all developers and would-be app designers to check out

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