1. APIs: a bridge between mobile operators and start-ups in Africa- Especially
(a) Monetisation: Start-ups must understand their path to monetisation and also the monetisation path for mobile operators;
(b)Support: Start-ups need to seek external support in understanding how mobile operators work and how to work with them. This will help them reach out to the right people within the operators and to craft the right value proposition; and
(c) Product Differentiation: Operators are keen on propositions that are unique and will give them an edge in the market. This differentiation should be reflected when reaching out to them.
Barriers that still prevent start-ups in their markets (Rwanda and Kenya in particular) to fully realise the benefits of operator APIs. These barriers include:
(a) Operator’s maturity in the management of APIs (e.g. clear and actionable documentation);
(b) Lack of access to stable sandbox environment;
(c) Difficulty in identifying the API ‘point of contact’ within the mobile operator;
(d) Integration issues with some APIs (often requiring to connect through a VPN); and
(e) Lack of standardised APIs across markets.