When one talks about young Africans using smartphones, the ascendant anecdotal is that these accessories serve mostly as platforms for affiliation so that users can acquaint and share greetings and advice via text and images. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Signal take pride of place in that description, admitting their murkier side. What has conceivably been disregarded is how smartphones are also affecting other facets of young people’s lives. One area is the ever-growing association of sports action in Africa.

The abnormality of sports action among African youths has taken the region by storm. Recent polls and anecdotal letters point to a grim scenario, abnormally in Sub-Saharan Africa. A 2017 GeoPoll survey found that up to 54 percent of sub-Saharan African youth amid 17 and 35 years have affianced in sports gambling. Kenya, with 74 percent accord in sports betting, had by far the better allotment of youth captivation in this activity. The survey of some 2,726 African millennials was conducted in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

A core driver of this trend has been the growing beyond of mobile telephony around the abstemious accumulated with the availability of smartphones. Added to this has been greater connectivity – including accessory access to sport matches – and a ballooning citizenry of young people with high levels of unemployment.

In analysis on the subject, we see that sports action has brought many ills to young people in sub-Saharan Africa. These accommodate severe bank addiction and money laundering. Some of these apropos are also accomplished in other parts of the world. These accommodate smartphone addiction and a carefully accompanying phenomenon: internet addiction. These ills, in turn, lead to acute levels of social all-overs and bareness among the afflicted population.

The drivers?

Smartphone assimilation around the abstemious has apparent a arresting growth rate. Cameroon, for instance, had 72 percent registered users of social networks among those aged 15 to 24 in 2016. This grew to that level from 43 percent in the first half of that year. The most accepted social networks for that association was Facebook, Google , Instagram, and Twitter. This development has come at a time when there is a growing absorption in sports action – the most accepted bank option for African youth. Mobile phones are the adopted avenue for sports betting.

Of course, the accretion availability of smartphones is unleashing the avant-garde abeyant of many sub-Saharan African youth. The deluge of social media platforms has the abeyant to change lives around the continent. Many social media adaptions are the result of the adeptness of sub-Saharan youth, like M-Pesa, Ensbuuko, and WorldRemit (financial services); ButterflyiQ, Momconnect, Usalama (health and security); Cityaps, Musanga and Twiga Foods (supply chain platforms); and Ushahidi, tajirat al-Facebook and Kano’s WhatsApp entrepreneurs (to strengthen social cohesion).

webrok

Another driver is clever business and advances in technology – the agenda accessory television space across the abstemious broadcasts sports events of African clubs and accepted European soccer leagues. In Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and across much of sub-Saharan Africa, the advent of DStv (Digital Accessory Television) and other advertisement platforms have brought adopted league matches to examination centers and hence to the doorstep of individuals who on their own who be hard-pressed to afford to watch prized league games in their corresponding homes.

These examination centers are in the nooks and crannies of urban centers in all these countries. In turn, self-acclaimed fans of some of the better clubs in the world like Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Juventus and Paris Germain can keep up with the achievement of their teams after ever visiting the homes of these clubs.

A third driver is the youth bulge in Africa. The abstemious has the youngest citizenry in the world, with an estimated 60 percent of people under the age of 25. Of the 420 actor youth in Africa today, the majority are unemployed, have afraid jobs or are in casual employment. For many on the continent, the slick announcement of sports action firms provides an alluring proposition.The Conversation

Read next: These 10 Black Friday deals all under $20