How StarNews Mobile Succeeds In Africa’s Digital Space

While the global digital marketplace might appear very standard, there is actually quite a bit of variation caused by both technical and cultural differences. The StarNews Mobile team has a deep understanding of Africa’s digital marketplace which has allowed our platform to thrive. Let’s take a look at how this marketplace is different and why StarNews Mobile is a great fit. 

Growth of the African Mobile Market

In the past 20 years there has been extensive growth in the mobile market in Africa. For example, Côte d’Ivoire saw their mobile penetration rate reach an astounding 131.6%, representing more than 33.4 million subscriptions for a population of 25 million. 

This is partly driven by the demographics of the population. With 78% of residents under the age of 35, digital technology sectors have simply taken off. Digital tech has created over 150,000 jobs, resulting in over 1,000 billion CFA, which comprises 8% of the nation’s GDP. This illustrates not only the impressive nature of the African mobile market but also that it is poised to continue to grow in the future. 

How Do People Use Mobile Phones? 

Succeeding in the African digital space requires an extensive level of insight into how people use their phones on a daily basis. This is necessary to be able to provide a level of service that is able to align well with these needs. For StarNews Mobile, this has been the key to our success. Let’s take a look at how mobile phones are used in Africa.

Voice, Messages, & Data

Just like the rest of the world, using mobile for phone calls, texts, and general data is important. Telecommunication companies within the continent have oriented their strategy towards this with several different packages offered, including internet-only services preferred by some simply wanting access to apps and social networks. That said, there are areas where data is limited and unlimited data plans are unavailable or costly which makes SMS technology ideal. This is why StarNews delivers content directly to subscribers via SMS. 

Social Networks

Social media networks are used as information sharing platforms, enabling users to access trending news, community information, and political updates. The most used social networks in Africa are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These networks have led to the rise of various digital professions such as bloggers, influencers, and other content creators wanting to monetize their digital content, opening the door for StarNews Mobile. 


When it comes to ecommerce there is a significant difference between the African market and western markets. The vast majority of e-commerce businesses in Africa are run on Facebook or via WhatsApp sales groups. Since these payments typically occur offline, this can make it a bit difficult to accurately quantify the scope of sales. Additionally, major companies like JUMIA and Konga (known as “Africa’s Amazon”) operate web payment systems adapted to the African market through services like Orange Money, Wave, and MTN Money. 

New Digital Services

In recent years the market has adapted to rely heavily on mobile. These include companies like Glovo (Africa’s version of Uber Eats), Yango (Africa’s Uber), and Wave (a mobile money platform). These companies thrive by successfully delivering five specific elements:

  • Accessibility to the population
  • Quality/price ratio
  • Simplicity of the customer experience
  • Integration of mobile payments
  • Digital and field marketing

Effective Marketing in Africa

In addition to providing services that align with the needs of the population, StarNews Mobile has thrived due to its intimate understanding of effective marketing in Africa. While the continent includes a wealth of cultures, one typical commonality is an emphasis on community. 

Africans are communal, preferring to be surrounded by family and friends. They often enjoy having drinks in bars, attending concerts, eating street food, and various other means of socializing with one another. This communal preference means that field marketing is particularly effective. StarNews Mobile has effectively leveraged this to strengthen its digital efforts, building trust with the target market. 

Thus, while Africa has developed extensive mobile and digital sectors, understanding the mentality, customs, and preferences of the population is still a key aspect of succeeding. By understanding their target audience, StarNews Mobile has strengthened its position within the digital space.

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