Africa Mobile Subscription to hit 725 million by 2020

Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa Top List

The ongoing GSMA 360 Africa Mobile Conference holding in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, has predicted that mobile subscription in Africa would reach 725 million in 2020, up from its current penetration level of 500 million, with Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, topping the list of highest number of mobile subscription on the African continent.

Nigeria’s mobile subscription, which currently stands at over 160 million, has been adjudged as the fastest growing telecoms market in Africa and the world.

Director General, GSMA Mobile 360 Series, Mr. Mats Granryd, who announced the growth rate of mobile subscription in Africa, said the forecast to reach 725 million by 2020, accounted for 54 per cent of the expected population of Africa.

The prediction, he said was hinged on some trends that are currently driving mobile subscription in Africa.

“African mobile subscribers are rapidly migrating to mobile broadband networks and services, a result of ongoing network rollouts and the increasing availability of affordable mobile broadband devices and tariffs. Mobile broadband (3G/4G) accounted for just over a quarter of total connections at the end of 2015, but is expected to account for almost two-thirds by 2020,” Granryd said.

According to him, by mid2016, there were 72 live 4G networks in 32 countries across Africa, half of which have launched in the last two years. The number of smartphone connections in Africa is forecast to more than triple over the next five years, rising from 226 million in 2015 to 720 million by 2020, Granryd added.

The predictions were the outcome of a recent research carried out by GSMA 360 Africaand made public in Tanzania.

According to the report, mobile’s contribution to African GDP, Jobs and public funding, were expected to rise.

The use of mobile technologies and services across Africa, generated $153 billion in economic value last year, equivalent to 6.7 per cent of the region’s GDP. The contribution, according to Granryd, would increase to $214 billion by 2020, which is 7.6 per cent of expected GDP as countries in Africa continue to benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services. The report said Africa’s mobile ecosystem also supported 3.8 million jobs in 2015 and made a $17 billion contribution to the public sector via general taxation. The number of jobs supported is forecast to rise to 4.5 million by 2020, while the tax contribution is expected to increase to $20.5 billion.

The report also explains how mobile is powering innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa. It notes that there are now approximately 310 active tech hubs across the region, including 180 accelerators/ incubators. Mobile operators are supporting this ecosystem by opening up new services to third-party developers in areas such as messaging, billing, location and mobile money, which has allowed start-ups to scale quickly.

Source: Thisday, 28th July, 2016

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South Africa slips to Africa’s third-largest economy

South-Africa has been known as the continent’s second largest economy since Nigeria rebased its gross domestic product (GDP) data in early 2014. However, the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, released in mid April 2016, revealed that the South African economy is now only the third-largest economy on the continent after Nigeria und new silver medallist Egypt.

By the end of 2015, Nigeria’s GDP was estimated at US$ 490 billion, followed by Egypt with US$ 324 billion and South-Africa with US$ 313 billion.

Egypt overtook South Africa mainly owing to the slump of its currency, the Rand. As a result, the nominal dollar value of South Africa’s GDP has dropped by an average of almost 7 percent a year over the past four years.

South Africa, however, remains the continent’s most developed economy and has a more diversified base than any other on the continent. It is ranked as an upper-middle-income economy by the World Bank –   one of the only four countries in Africa (alongside Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius).

Source: African Courier, June/July 2016

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Africa’s phone users reach 700 million

Mobile phone subscriptions are now almost eight times higher in Africa than in 2000, reaching about 700 million. According to a new report by the International  Telecommunications Union, mobile technology has played a crucial role in promoting financial inclusion in sub Saharan Africa, where fewer than 20 per cent of households have access to formal financial services. … Mobile phone banking services are especially prevalent in Kenya and penetration rates are also relatively high in Uganda and Tanzania. The other countries with high mobile money account penetration rates are Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Rwanda and South Africa.

Regulaory reforms and liberalization have also benefited local mobile operators, with countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania having more than five local operators.

The report said sub Sahara Afric’s greatest development change is to move from an economic growth path based on commodity exports to a more sustainable industrial and services path. The mobile technology revolution can support and underpin this economic diversifications, experts say.

Source: African Courier, June/July 2016

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The long view for Africa

While many question Africa’s achievement over the last decade, there is a greater perspective needed to show how far Africa has just come.

Certainly, Africa is not monolithic –   it’s 54 Africas –   but just if you count up the GDP figures for the whole continent, it averages 5 % growth per year over that period, according to the world bank –   a strong long term position that is well above the global average of 3 % over the last decade..

Since 2000, Africa has also seen a 200 % increase in intra-continental trade and trade with the rest of the world. Fast forward, Africa continues to house some of the world’s fastest growing economies and despite the recent collapse in commodity prices, private equity investment grew by 51 % last year.

At least a dozen economies have grown by more than 6 % per year for six years or more.

Source: AI, May 2016

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