The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa contributed more than $100 billion to the region’s economy last year, according to a new GSMA study ‘The Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa 2015’. By Staff Writer
The study finds that the $102 billion economic contribution in 2014 was equivalent to 5.7 per cent of the region’s GDP.
Mobile operators directly contributed $31 billion, representing 1.7% of GDP.
This economic contribution is set to increase over the coming years as mobile operators continue to extend connectivity to unconnected populations across the region and roll out new mobile broadband networks and services.
The industry is forecast to contribute $166 billion in value to the region by 2020, equivalent to 8 per cent of expected GDP by this point.
“The mobile industry remains a key driver of economic growth and employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, making a vital contribution given the population growth and high unemployment levels seen in many countries in the region,” said Alex Sinclair, Acting Director General and Chief Technology Officer at the GSMA.
“Despite revenue and margin pressures, local mobile operators continue to invest heavily to extend network coverage to serve unconnected communities and accelerate the migration to high-speed 3G/4G mobile broadband networks.”
It is forecast that there will be 386 million unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of this year, equivalent to 41 per cent of the region’s population.
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to surpass half a billion (518 million) by 2020, representing almost one in two (49 per cent) of the region’s population by this point.
Total mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa are on track to reach 722 million by year-end.