OnePixel says we need more ‘apps for Africa’

OnePixel chief operating officer Nicholas Rixon gives us a lowdown of his interpretation on the mobile tech scene in Africa. Focusing on smartphone applications, he says that there’s a great need for African apps that solve African problems on the continent but the continent is not there just yet.

OnePixel is a South African-based mobile software development company. By using cloud-based environment for the company’s apps, OnePixel aims to bring the offline and online user experiences to the user as well as the application’s product brand.

Rixon refers to these as “Apps for Africa” and says that, when played right, there are high hopes for the future because of the strong local support of mobile incubators and accelerator programmes. “Within the next 2 to 3 years we can expect to see some of these mobile businesses create real socio, political and economic impact across the continent.”

So what’s stopping developers now?

Rixon argues that marketing is the biggest issue app makers face today. Given South Africa’s limited internet connection, apps and the marketing thereof need to connect to both the online and offline markets. He suggests the following:

“A solid offline and online marketing plan is required to get the best marketing results. Simply submitting an App to the App store is not enough. In order to be successful, developers need to get their App into the hands of tech writers and review sites that their target audience frequents. An effective marketing plan is critical to the success of a mobile App and is often overlooked in the planning process.”

“The South Africa market, while producing some great Apps for enterprises sectors, is yet to produce a world dominating App concept. Local consumers are looking for Apps that help them in their daily activities to solve local problems and increase their effectiveness,” says Rixon. Though, on the continent as a whole, we have seen the likes of M-Pesa, Mxit and Ushahidi that have all crossed borders and boasts regional and international success.

As Africa’s tech scene evolves, there are noteworthy ventures to keep in mind but more so– it’s the emerging culture that’s making things happen.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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