Africa Rising!!! You bet it is. The Economist notes that IMF expects 6 African nations to be in the top 10 during 2011-2015. Uganda is one of them with an estimated growth rate of 7% up to 2016. One of the factors for the growth has been mobile. Mobile is estimated to have a 55% penetration rate in Uganda and 90% of its internet subscribers are on the mobile.
One star of mobility in Uganda is Abdu Ssekalala, a mobile apps developer from Kampala, Uganda. He has been covered by various publications from Reuters to Forbes and has been called a “A Ugandan Shilling Billionaire”. At just 22, an IT graduate from Makerere university Kampala, Abdu Sekalala has made it huge in mobile with his J2ME apps, having a total of 13 apps on the Ovi Store. He is also working on various other platforms including Android, Bada, RIM & WP7.
He learnt to develop on the Mobile at a Nokia sponsored training for Java ME. While he originally wanted to focus on enterprise systems and the web, he quickly realized that Mobile is the medium that would allow his work to impact the lives of millions in Africa and across the globe. He monetizes his free apps with ads powered by Vserv.mobi AppWrapper. Abdu states “Vserv Ads are very easy to integrate and I have seen great success in monetizing my apps with the AppWrapper. Vserv also helps in gaining traction with the help of their huge distribution partners”
As someone who can’t stay away from his laptop & Netbeans IDE for long – his favorite advice to his peers is – “Take every opportunity that knocks on your door”.
Using his parents as a source of inspiration and support he plans to work harder and grow his apps business. Becoming a “billionaire” is just the start – he has a long way to go!