Digital Uses of the Smartphone Generation

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Sub-saharan Africa is the fastest growing mobile telecom market in the world. The mobile phone penetration rate in the region rose from close to nil in the early 2000s to 44% in 2018 – 39% of which being smartphones. The number of smartphones is expected to rise to 700 million by 2025, an adoption rate of 66%. Beyond an unprecedented technological "leapfrog", this amounts to a social revolution which has engendered new challenges. 

This case study in Senegal details the emerging digital lifestyle to overcome shortcomings in the adaptation of digital tools to the needs of African users.

Top 5 key findings 

93% of respondents are frustrated when a page takes 3 - 10 seconds to load

67% prefer scrolling rather than swiping

31% have more trust in websites displaying a banner with an add


42% prefer to read the news on a mobile website interface rather than on a desktop or news app

90% of respondents in field interviews prefer photos rather than icons

Scope & Methodology 

30 qualitative field user tests in rural and urban areas

121 quantitative online surveys

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