Defining the Web Landscape: A Focus on Arab Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa

Information Technology's Global Impact: Arab Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa

تكنولوجيا المعلومات and teknolojia ya habari. Those two sentences written in Arabic and Swahili mean the same - Information Technology.

The IT industry in Arab countries as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing its heyday. According to market research prepared by the company Research and Markets, the development of AI used in the IT industry is expected to grow from 500 million in 2020 to $8.4 billion by 2026$.

The same situation can be observed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to the fact that Africa, as a continent, was unnaturally divided during colonial times, we can observe a large number of countries with separate currencies within the same continent.

Today's IT world in Africa faces this problem, but we can see a rapidly growing number of financial and banking products, such as Mpesa in Kenya, where cash transfers and currency exchanges are easier than ever before.

Also, as a curiosity, it's worth mentioning that the IT world is influencing local languages, such as in East Africa. Built on Node JS, Swahili-lang makes use of the Swahili language within JavaScript syntax. It offers a platform that allows native speakers of the language to easily read and write code. One example of this is the renaming of the if-else function as kama-au, a literal translation of the if-else statements.

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Balancing the Evolution of IT with Cultural Diversity in Business

However, on the one hand, we can see the evolution of the IT world, and on the other hand, we have the cultural world, which has a great impact on how your business cooperates with the proper market.

How does it look to work in a specific region where there is a great cultural differentiation?

First of all, one of the most important factors is working time. Whether you are working in Africa, the Middle East, South America, or Southeast Asia, you should take into consideration what time you will start your work. That's why the Content Team at Reffine, responsible for Overseas markets, starts their work earlier than the European Team.

Contrasting Market Content Strategies: A Look at Automotive Brands

We can observe a couple of differences between the markets when it comes to the content displayed on websites.

Let's focus on automotive brands like Jaguar and Land Rover. Most of the content visible on websites is directly related to the climate differences. In the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, we can observe more content with sand, sun, as well as the marketing campaigns related to driving in different climates. In comparison, Scandinavian markets will relate to Land Rover driving through snow, blizzards, rain, etc., and the Middle East will refer to desert terrain.

Land Rover shown on websites for the Middle East and Sub-Saharan market vs. Scandinavian market.

Of course, the content provided for MENA markets is adapted to Arabic language standards. As the example below shows, the language affects how the buttons and text are displayed (written right to left).

Strategic Approaches to Marketing Campaigns and Model Launches

It's worth mentioning how marketing campaigns and premieres of new models are established.

In the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), where the number of Land Rover models sold, especially limited editions, is very high, special pre-new model reveals are being prepared for customers before the global premiere.

Great care can also be seen in the displayed model prices on the MENA pages. The given prices are completely binding. Even if they are given incorrectly, the seller is obliged to sell the model at the wrong price.

Business Connections and Cultural Insights

Navigating Arab and African Markets

Generally, Arab and African countries have something in common in the area of doing business. Of course, honesty is very important, but they also put much effort into making a connection with the people they are doing business with. It's really important to know the business partner first before making any assumptions and final decisions.

That's why gifts and live business meetings are so important to strengthen the connection and make business relations transparent.

Nowadays, MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa are becoming hubs for new technologies. The rapidly growing number of IT conferences, new startups, and technology hubs like the AI hub in Dubai confirm this thesis. However, what's really interesting is where the IT world meets the cultural world; there's always something amazing that appears from this connection.

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