The world had a chance to see South Africa up close during the recent FIFA world cup soccer. Many of us were pleasantly surprised yet South Africa is just one of 47 countries in Africa who are still stigmatized by the perception of poverty, health issues and corruption.
A bright spot that may indicate that the old stereotypes are falling by the wayside is measured by Africa’s adoption of high-tech communication tools. The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) recently reported that the number of mobile subscribers in Africa is expected to reach 735 million by the end of 2012. This astonishing growth rate is second only to Asia.
During the past decade many organizers have identified exhibition opportunities in several of Africa’s nations. If the rate of mobile users is an indicator of a growing sophistication amongst Africans then we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg of opportunities.
Maybe its time for those of us who have been waiting to see how Africa develops to seriously consider moving off the fence and taking the plunge.