Opera to invest $100m in Africa
Opera Software will invest $100 million (R1.3 billion) over the next two years to facilitate the growth of the African digital economy.
In a statement, the company says it will use the investment to speed up Internet adoption in Africa and strengthen the Internet ecosystem with local partners.
"Africa is a very important market for Opera. Nine of the top 20 Opera Mini user countries are from Africa," says Richard Monday, VP of Africa, Opera Software.
He adds: "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, OEMs and others to strengthen the African Internet ecosystem."
According to Opera, it plans to seek local partners to integrate value-added services, mobile payment and data bundling into its browser product.
This will grant consumers access to quality content and services, giving them the ability to transact more easily on their mobile devices, says the statement. "The range of services to be added over the next 12 months will create a content and services hub that will provide African users with a truly unique experience."
The Norwegian company, which has operations in Cape Town and Johannesburg, says the money will be invested across three regions: SA, Kenya and Nigeria.
Opera plans to build new offices in Lagos and Nairobi to support business and product development, the statement adds. "The plan is to hire around 100 people for these offices over the next three years."