The coronavirus pandemic affected all industries in general and economic losses occurred on all continents - especially Africa. This continent has the lowest levels of economic success in general, so the struggle to repair losses during the pandemic is a huge challenge.
The sporting industry is positively contributing to the African economy with some of the most popular sports being football, rugby, athletics, and cricket. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, all major sports events were canceled, which led to significant economic losses. People that are living and breathing sports were disappointed because there were no live matches to watch, the competitions were postponed and it was uncertain when the sports will come to life again.
Moving as many segments of life as possible online, along with sports, is necessary in times when social events are prohibited and safety measures are strict. This is a great solution for advanced societies with access to the internet and with possession of technological devices. Even though the poorest countries in the world are in Africa (Central African Republic, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, and Malawi), their technology is rapidly growing and there are over 600 innovation hubs across the continent.
Since the sport is back, but matches take place without the audience, the only way to watch them is online. People in South Africa often don’t have access to live sports through cable television, so they turn to local satellite television providers for live sports streaming. Some also use Facebook pages or websites with online streaming. There are a lot of these channels and they’re visited regularly, which proves that sport is a huge part of people’s lives in Africa. This is not a surprise, since African athletes are very talented with some well-known, prominent names like Mohamed Salah, Didier Drogba, Kagiso Rabada, Asamoah Gyan, and many more.
With the growth of technology, rapid internet penetration, and the everlasting love toward sports, online sports betting also found its place in Africa. It arrived late in comparison to the USA, the UK, and Asia, but it’s growing extremely fast. Sports betting in the time of coronavirus did face some changes but when talking on that topic, experts claim that online sites for gambling and betting kept their business running with a surge in activities. Access to online sports betting services in Africa is easy and many poor countries use it as a way out of poverty. Mobile-based sports betting is especially interesting for young people who like sports. During the coronavirus, the African betting markets decreased because the world's leading football leagues were canceled.
Another way to keep sports alive during the pandemic is engaging in eSports activities. Computer users can compete against each other in the sport they choose. The growth of eSports investments in Africa started before the COVID-19 lockdown, but the attention from broadcasters, sponsors, and advertisers is now bigger than ever. In order to reach its maximal potential, some huge financial and infrastructural investments have to be made.
There is no doubt that Africa is a continent with a lot of talented athletes and e-sports gamers. With the help of technology, talented people can have their chance to shine, to earn money, and to bring benefits to their countries, especially during the challenging time of the pandemic.