In Africa, as in most other regions, the pandemic and lockdowns provoked an explosive growth of mobile gaming. Compared to the first quarter of last year, local users have become more active in downloading games and making more in-app purchases. This is reported by AppsFlyer in a joint report with Google.Note: The study covers the period from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 (ended March 31).

Analysts studied 6 thousand African applications and collected data based on 2 billion downloads in three countries: Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

Key dataThe total number of app downloads from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 increased by 41%.

  • Downloads of mobile games increased by 44%, and non—gaming applications – by 40%.In the second quarter of last year (after the introduction of the first restrictions), game downloads increased by 50% compared to the first quarter.
  • At the same time, the number of downloads of non-gaming applications increased by only 8%.Graph of the growth of downloads of gaming and non-gaming applications

Due to the fact that companies began to spend more money on buying users, non-organic downloads increased by 56%.

  • Paid traffic grew the most on Android — by 54% year-on-year.In the third quarter of 2020, revenue from in-app purchases increased by 136% compared to the first two quarters of last year.
  • At the same time, the share of paying users increased by 20%.It is worth noting that the largest increase in revenue from in—app purchases in the third quarter occurred in non-gaming applications – 172% compared to the first two quarters of 2020.
  • In the first quarter of 2021, revenue from embedded advertising increased by 167% compared to the second quarter of 2020.
  • So-called “super-applications” have also become particularly popular in Africa.

They combine the functions of messengers, shops and banks, somewhat resembling WeChat and Alipay. This is due to the fact that mobile Internet is still poorly developed in many countries of the region.