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‘Mobile internet browsing in Africa grows 13%’

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Mobile internet browsing in Africa ‘increased 13%’ between March and May 2013, according to mobile web development firm GinWiz.

“The growing availability of cheap, relatively high-powered smartphones and tablets in Africa, along with the growing coverage of WiFi and 3G networks (which will only continue to become more widespread) have made the prospects of designing sites with mobile in mind or at least having an alternate mobile version of a site, much more palpable,” Shimon Gurman, the community manager at Israeli-owned GinWiz, has told ITWeb Africa.

Global mobile industry world body, the GSMA, said last year that sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, with an average annual growth rate of 44% since 2000. Mobile connections ‘leapt’ to 475 million last year, said the GSMA.

Moreover, an April report by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) said that internet access through mobile phones is at a high penetration rate in the East African nation.

“Mobile data/internet continued to dominate the internet market contributing 99.0% of the total internet/data subscriptions,” the report stated.

And according to GinWiz statistics, the continent has been on an exponential growth in mobile internet access over the last year.

In April 2012, the total percentage of mobile browsing in terms of worldwide internet traffic was at 14%, says GinWiz.

In April 2013 it was at 17%, says the firm.

“But that's just half the story. In sub-Saharan countries the shift is even more salient,” Gurman said.

“In countries like Ghana (in) April of last year the figure was at 22%. Today the figure stands at 34%. In Kenya, the percentages are 26% and 35% respectively.”

Gurman, therefore, says African business should embrace the mobile web by having their website presence on the platform.

“As e-commerce has increased along with the increase in mobile web surfing the logical progression for a business would be to continue engaging customers over their mobile devices too. In order to do so they'd need to serve an optimised for mobile site to visitors reaching them with smartphones and tablets,” Gurman concluded.

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