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Opera Software to invest US$100m in Africa

Africa , 12 May 2017

Opera Software to invest US$100m in Africa

Opera Software plans to invest US$100 million over the next two years in several initiatives to promote digital economy in Africa.

One of the initiatives is to introduce an AI-powered news engine with compression technology.

"To bring more first-time internet users without the fear of high data costs or lack of local relevant content, Opera invests in developing a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence engine for smartphone users that will ensure content discovery is at the heart of the browser," the company said.

According to Opera, the AI engine will deliver fully personalised and localised content to users and the compression technology will reduce data usage of up to 90%.

The company is working with over 47 top tier African publishers covering 107 websites.

Over the next 12 months, Opera aims to integrate "value-added services, mobile payment and data bundling into its browser product."

"Africa is a very important market for Opera. Nine of the top 20 Opera Mini user countries are from Africa," said Richard Monday, Vice President of Africa, Opera Software. "We aim to invest heavily in Africa, to build a local platform and grow with the local business partners. This platform will expand the user base for content providers, e-commerce businesses, operators, OEM's and others to strengthen the African internet ecosystem."

Opera mini browser has proved popular in specific markets in Africa. Overall Opera Mini has a 58.3% share of mobile internet user market in Africa, according to the company's State of the Mobile Web 2016 Report.

In Kenya, it has 86.4% market share, with Nigeria coming second at 71.8%.

The company has also launched broadcast media campaigns in South Africa and Kenya, with Nigeria launching soon, in a bid to increase the use of its mobile browser.

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