In recent times, Africa has seen a surge in the number of players in its burgeoning gaming industry.
The challenge has, however, been a lack of regulation and knowledge on how best African countries can effectively tap into the gaming industry to develop their economies as has been efficiently done elsewhere in the world. Whereas the United States, for instance, raked in over US$11.7 billion from the gaming industry in 2016, Africa is yet to find its way around the industry and has been unable to measure the full impact of the industry on the economies of the continent’s 54 countries.
Against this backdrop, it comes as a huge relief to governments and players in the gaming industry that ICE Africa, a member of the Clarion Gaming stable of events and publications for the international gaming community, will be hosting the first-ever gaming conference scheduled for 24th-25th October in the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The inaugural conference is being organised in collaboration with Totally Gaming, international gaming’s leading training and personal development provider, and iGaming Business to provide a one-off space for leaders, innovators and peers to network and explore the latest products and innovations on offer. Whilst availing themselves of an opportunity for regulators and operators come in, ICE Africa provides an ideal platform to discuss the growing market.
Brainstorming sessions on how the Africa gaming market can be shaped to allow for sustainable growth of the industry will be important segments during the conference. Learning and development opportunities will be provided by ICE Africa and Totally Gaming Academy (TGA) during the event.
Amne Suedi, a speaker at ICE Africa 2018 and a Principal at Shikana Law Group, a Kenya- and Tanzania-based law firm operating in East Africa, believes there is a renewed interest in Africa’s gaming space for a number of reasons.
According to Suedi, there is a surge in interest in Africa’s gaming industry as a result of the fact that the industry represents “an investment area that has a lot of potential to grow further and to have an even bigger impact on the countries that welcome this type of investment in terms of job creation; and of course, the revenues that can be collected by the tax/government authorities.” She adds that “Governments in Africa can leverage a lot more on this industry as they can divert the earnings into development of sports, entrepreneurship centres.”
Africa’s gaming industry is on a positive growth trajectory. In the coming months, Suedi says regulatory changes in places like the East African market will provide investors the necessary fillip to jump into and make a mark. “The East African market is very exciting in terms of opportunities but also the regulatory space is ever changing as legislators try and keep up with technology,” she states.
Ghana, in spite of the recent massive influx of gaming companies into the country, is yet to tap fully into the industry for job creation and revenue generation. It will be important to see how the learning outcomes of ICE Africa 2018 will be utilised by Ghana’s Gaming Commission to streamline the industry for the numerous economic benefits that the industry offers.