Africa had more than 270 million mobile apps users as of December 2022

As of December 2022, the total number of monthly active users of mobile apps in Africa exceeded 270 million, a 14% increase compared to the beginning of the year. This is according to a new report released by DataSparkle, a data and analytics platform for emerging markets.

The report provides a holistic analysis of the evolution of Africa’s mobile market over the past year from the perspective of mobile users, trending apps and developers.

It notes that a total of 575 apps already boasted over one million monthly active users in Africa while the average user spent more than four hours per day on mobile devices.

Games, tools and pan-entertainment were the most active categories, accounting for more than 56% of the top 500 apps in Africa in 2022 by active users.

The number of monthly active users of mobile games in Africa constantly increased to over 200 million in 2022, with an average monthly time spent of more than 12 hours. Casual, puzzle and arcade games secured the top positions by the number of active users. It is worth noticing that card games saw their user base in Kenya expand nearly 4 times throughout the year. 

In terms of the non-gaming sector, pan-entertainment apps have rapidly gained large popularity in Africa. In 2022, the average user spent up to 32 hours per month on social apps, as short-formed videos are becoming one of the most popular ways of online social networking today.

In recent years, fintech and e-commerce have become unprecedentedly popular. According to DataSparkle, these two verticals continued to maintain strong growth momentum in 2022. The number of active users of finance apps in Africa exceeded 73 million, an increase of 26% in December 2022 compared to January of the same year. The number of active users of shopping apps surpassed 36 million, up 6% in the same given period. 

It is worth mentioning that the passion of African users for sports has reshaped the landscape of sports games and apps. In 2022, despite the declining gaming market, the average monthly time spent per user on sports games continued to grow, increasing by 6% in December 2022 compared to January of the same year. In 2022, Africa’s sports apps have seen two peaks in active penetration during the FIFA World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations.

Additionally, based on the Agenda 2063, DataSparkle identifies several potential verticals in the mobile market: health and fitness, travel and local, education, food and drink, etc. Overall, the African mobile app market offers a promising outlook.

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