The Pan Africa Gaming Group (PAGG) has been unveiled today, bringing 10 studios together under a single umbrella across Africa.
Launched during Africa Games Week 2022 in Cape Town, the group aims to grow the Africa Gaming industry by 2x every year due to the rapid growth of youth with Internet-connected smartphones on the continent.
The group, which represents 10 African countries, include the following studios: South Africa (Sea Monster), Senegal (Kayfo Games), Cameroon (Kiro’o Games),Ghana (Leti Arts), Tunisia (Digital Mania), Ethiopia (Qene Games),Kenya (Usiku Games),Tanzania (Khanga Rue),Rwanda (DopeApps), and African Diaspora (Messeka Games)
Pan Africa Gaming Group will be governed through a Founders’ Council combining many of the top gaming entrepreneurs across the continent. They will be joined by Peter Kihara (ex-Goldman Sachs & PWC) serving as the Group Chief Financial Officer and Jake Manion (BAFTA nominated Game Director at Aardman Animation in UK) serving as Group Creative Director.
Each studio will maintain its sovereignty and autonomy when it comes to things such as the brand, leadership, and financial independence. The founders will work together collaboratively, voting up/down proposals and resolutions brought to the Founders’ Council.
According to Dawit Abraham, CEO of Qene Games (Ethiopia) and spokesperson for the Pan Africa Gaming Group, the network has been formed to enable the Africa Gaming Industry to unlock the world’s next one billion players:
“Together, we represent over 200 professionals and 8 different languages. Our team has over 30yrs of experience, leading some of the top gaming companies globally, including Ubisoft, Electronic Arts & Aardman Animation. We have produced more mobile, PC & console games than anyone else on the continent. Most importantly, all of our network members are committed to #GamingForGood, harnessing the power of gamification to create a positive social impact in our local communities.”
The group is developing & publishing locally relevant content that is relatable to African gamers. Despite the massive audience growing on the continent there is still very little relevant, local content in Africa, according to Group Creative Director, Jake Manion:
“We are creating a portfolio of mobile-first casual games that are fun, non-violent, and gender-inclusive. Our games are Made-In-Africa, For Africa, featuring African heroes wrapped in local culture, music & environments. This allows our players to see themselves reflected in our games, which makes all the difference.”
PAGG’s more than one hundred existing games entertain, engage, and educate. By harnessing the power of gamification, the group is creating fun ways to solve some of the continent’s challenges, including healthcare, education, women’s empowerment, and climate change.
Once developed though, content must be published in order to reach the audience. To that end, PAGG brings together the “Gara” African game store, and “AfroComix” the largest African eComics publishing platform. Through these PAGG will have a channel for distributing it’s games tied in with Africa’s dozens of diverse payment platforms including mobile money, airtime billing, and credit cards.
To extend these effort into the future, PAGG is equipping and training Africa’s next generation of game developers, creating new jobs across the continent for youth. As an example, “The Nairobi Game Development Center” is a 6,000sq ft community co-working space that will be replicated in each of the African markets to train, incubate and host the next generation of talent. Eyram Tawia, CEO of Leti Arts in Ghana, added:
“One of our core values is not just to build a collection of games, but to incubate Africa’s gaming industry of tomorrow. There is a wealth of incredible talent already on the continent, with more graduating every year from top-tier game development schools like Rubika. Most graduates though are relegated to doing remote work for overseas clients due to the lack of local gaming job opportunities. We’re going to fix that”
Total Addressable Market (TAM):
Africa has more than 400 million internet connected smartphone users. This is more than all of Europe and more than the USA, Canada, and Mexico combined. That number has been growing at 20% CAGR and is expected to reach 680 million by the end of 2025.
According to a new report from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa has the world’s fastest growing middle class, tripling to more than 300 million people in the last 30 years. The continent has a median age of just 19yrs (EU=44yrs, USA=38yrs). In a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), just the top 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are already spending USD$37 Billion annually on mobile gaming / mobile-based sports betting, demonstrating the massive audience willing to spend on mobile entertainment.
Globally, the gaming industry is on track to pass USD$200B+ dwarfing Hollywood & the Music industry combined. With Africa’s projected 1 Billion young people across the continent by 2050 and no existing major incumbent gaming companies in the market, the opportunity for Africa to dwarf China as the largest gaming market in the world is massive.
Investment bank Drake Star Partners reported global gaming combined investments of more than USD$85Billion in all of 2021, a number which was already surpassed in just the first month of 2022. The formation of PAGG will be the first step towards unifying Africa’s booming gaming industry.