FeaturedVideo report

Côte d’Ivoire: Orange for more gaming in Africa!

Coming from 14 African countries, the 35 finalists of the Orange Esport Experience battled it out on controllers and consoles to determine the best of them. Beyond the fun of the game, Orange group intends to contribute to the development of an economic ecosystem linked to the digital world.

By Issiaka N’Guessan in Abidjan

Lire la suite : Côte d’Ivoire: Orange for more gaming in Africa!

« May the best win, » Nafi Silué Sidibé, Assistant General Manager of Orange Côte d’Ivoire, said at the opening of the final on Ivorian soil. And that is exactly what happened. On January 28 and 29, in the festival hall of the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, adorned in the colors of Orange, 35 « gamers » from 14 African countries competed in the categories Street Fighter V, eFootball and FIFA 23. In the end, Ryan from Madagascar for e-Football, Youssef from Egypt for FIFA 23 and Lordnok from the Côte d’Ivoire for Street Fighter V were crowned best African and Middle Eastern gamers of the year.

Growth of video games

Nafi Silué Sidibé welcomed the initiative because digital technology creates jobs and boosts the economy. « Video games usage has continued to grow as the Internet has become more democratic, » said the CEO of Orange Côte d’Ivoire. He considered that « the very high speed of Orange with the fiber has promoted the birth of a much more advanced and dynamic ecosystem of gaming ». “The gaming industry has become much bigger than the music and film industries combined, especially in the UK, the US, China and Japan. So, federations, leagues and tournaments are being organized to bring fame to this discipline,” she further said. According to Nafi Silué Sidibé, « the Orange Group is aware that eSports, in addition to giving our young people the chance to experience immersive and exciting games, is also an opportunity for economic and social development, given the huge stakes involved in the growth of the video game industry and the new jobs it creates.”

The Assistant General Manager of Orange Côte d’Ivoire welcomed the participation and mobilization of young people in this competition. This, she said, « demonstrates not only the passion that drives you, but also and above all your ability as a generation to thrive in jobs and realities of your time, to seize opportunities and ignore preconceived notions. Opportunities for African youth to « meet, interact, compare [their] experiences, play together and [compete with] each other, » she said.

According to Boubacar Niang, officer in charge of the event, « for almost 8 years, Orange has started to diversify its activities, moving from football to eSports, video games that are widely used today. Orange has set itself the goal of accompanying and helping countries to develop this and to help young people to play with passion. »

On the qualification process, Niang explains that « each country holds qualifying tournaments at home to select the best to represent the country. « Gaming used to be considered entertainment, a waste of time, and parents didn’t want their kids to do it. Times have changed, new jobs have come and democratization has happened. Today, when you see a game, there are people behind it who designed it, who developed it, who launched it; you hear the voices of the commentators, you see the colors, you see the light; these are all jobs. Today, gaming allows Africa to open up more opportunities for young people in the jobs, » he assured.

This event saw the participation of several famous players, including three-time PS champion Sparta. 

« I am now two-time African champion after this match on e-Football PS 2023 and I am really proud because I achieved a great feat during this tournament, » said Madagascan champion Ryan. The same applies to Lordnok from Côte d’Ivoire, who was proud after the « bitter taste » of finishing runner-up in the previous competition.

Abidjan, capital of electronic games

It was not the first time that the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire hosted the Festival of Electronics and Video Games in Abidjan (FEJA) in Yopougon. Gaming enthusiasts from France, Madagascar, Togo and Niger had already met on November 26 and 27, 2022 to indulge their passion. On that occasion, Charles Atokoli, Manager, Paradise Game Center, said the aim was « to share with African gamers the passion for video games in general, because we see competitions organized everywhere in the world, so why not in Africa?

Beyond the playfulness, video games bring in money, certainly not much, but enough to support the person who plays them and to create jobs for young people, » says Wilfried Diallo. In addition, he adds, « the video game is not just a game, it develops the mind of the child, because there are problems to solve. And a child who learns to solve problems in a game will be able to cope with the problems of working life.”

Burgeoning hope

Mordor Intelligence, a platform dedicated to electronic and video games, says, a new segment, smartphones, will contribute to the growth of video games. « Carry1st, a game development startup, announced that it has raised a $2.5 million investment led by CRE Venture Capital to support and invest in game publishing across Africa, » says the Modor Intelligence study. « The gaming industry is expected to register a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period (2021-2026).

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on the African gaming market. It has led to mandatory home orders, forcing customers to spend more time and money on various games and game consoles. This has led to the growth of the commercial segment of the games market, » the study said.

And from this analysis of the market, it follows that « a comparative study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information on mobile games in the world shows that games on smartphones represent 24% in Africa ».

And when Nafi Silué Sidibé points out the predominant place of electronic games industry today, it is apt because the video games industry will generate 200 billion dollars in 2022. Even if, for the moment, only 2% of African gamers have access to international competitions, ANA has learned. In this booming market, « the Africa and Middle East zone represents 15% of the global video game market with a value of about 7.1 billion dollars. »

The reigning champion of e-Football 2022, Eric Kasson of the LMJ team (Les Maîtres du Jeu), claims that « in Côte d’Ivoire, the video game sector is not considered a child’s game. It allows people to make a living from this game, not necessarily in Africa ». Sidoine Assandé, another video game enthusiast, did not want to be told about this meeting in Abidjan. « Since I was a child, I have been passionate about motor sports, rallying. I was already a champion of the FR Rally Star program, which consisted of starting on simulators and finishing on Star Cross. I have already won this championship in Côte d’Ivoire », he justifies his presence.

Articles similaires

Bouton retour en haut de la page