Africa's Mobile Ecosystem contributes USD 150 billion to the Continent
In a recent report released by GSMA Intelligence titled, “The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016”, research suggests that the mobile ecosystem is fast becoming a major economic driver throughout the African continent with its services contributing more than USD 150 billion to the African economy.
According to Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA, “The transformational impact of mobile is being felt more profoundly in Africa than anywhere else in the world; Africa’s mobile industry is at the forefront of helping to deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
While Africa is the least penetrated mobile market globally, it still represents the second largest in the world with 557 million unique mobile subscribers. This is equivalent to 46% of the continent’s population in 2015, with forecasts indicating that the number will grow to 54% by 2020.
Mobile broadband adoption has also been on the rise with access to affordable broadband devices and tariffs on the increase. A quarter of total connection have been made through mobile broadband, but is forecasted to account for almost two thirds by 2020.
The macro contributions of mobile technology is a further encouraging sign for the continent. The use of mobile technologies and services was said to have contributed 6.7% of Africa’s GDP, while the mobile ecosystem supports 3.8 million jobs and provides USD 17 billion toward public funding through general taxation alone.
While understandably powering innovation and entrepreneurship in the continent – 310 active tech hubs in the region – the mobile ecosystem is also playing a central role in solving social challenges such as providing citizens with official identities, access to the internet and delivering financial inclusion through mobile money services.