An investigation on the adoption and diffusion of mobile applications in Africa
MetadataShow full item record
In recent years, the emergence of various kinds of mobile application (mobile app) has become noticeable across Africa. Many people are using mobile apps in their everyday activities. The penetration of mobile apps services in Africa is unprecedented and mobile services have changed the way business and personal interactions are conducted. The introduction of mobile devices, such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants, computers, etc., has triggered the development of various kinds of mobile app. It is a common belief that an owner of a mobile device is also an adopter and user of mobile apps. As African societies are embracing mobile services, a large number of mobile apps are being developed with high local content to facilitate various activities in education, the health care system, commerce, government, and agriculture. The global economic development, and in particular on the African continent, is propelled mainly by the mobile technologies. Many mobile technology start-ups have been established to boost the adoption and diffusion of mobile apps innovation in Africa. As a result, large populations of Africa are connected to digital communications. The constant growth of mobile services in Africa is influenced by some underlying factors which determine the adopters' perceptions of mobile apps and affect their attitudes in decision making either to adopt or reject the mobile apps. Despite the increasing penetration of mobile devices and the rapid growth of mobile apps adoption and diffusion, there are also the rejection and discontinuance of the use of some mobile apps. In addition, a reasonable number of African populations are non-adopters of mobile apps. Therefore, the underlying factors and how mobile apps are adopted and diffused in Africa are not clearly defined or known. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the adoption and diffusion of mobile apps in Africa to determine how mobile apps are adopted and used in the African social system. Five countries were selected from the five geographical locations in Africa, including South Africa (South), Nigeria (West), Morocco (North), Kenya (East), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Central). The Diffusion of Innovation Theory was used as the theoretical basis for the research. To achieve the study purpose, a detailed literature review regarding mobile apps adoption and diffusion, especially in Africa was conducted. The adoption and diffusion of mobile apps in the selected countries were empirically examined and compared. This research required quantitative data, thus the positivist research paradigm was applied. Through a survey and using a questionnaire as the instrument for data collection, the opinions of the participants from the five selected countries were gathered. A total of 1 285 out of 2 300 questionnaires distributed were returned, giving a response rate of 55.87%. The obtained data were analysed with different statistical data analysis methods to achieve the required results. Some of these findings include the significant features, the reasons for the discontinuance and rejection, sources of information, ways of dissemination of information, adopters' categories, and the adopters' attitudes regarding the adoption and diffusion of mobile apps. In addition, the effect of mobile apps and the predicting factors of mobile apps adoption and diffusion in Africa were among the findings. Finally, a framework for the successful adoption and diffusion of mobile apps in Africa was proposed. The findings of this study will be of interest to the body of knowledge, innovators and industries or organisations.