The mobile ecosystem is now adding in excess of $150 billion – 6.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) – to Africa’s economy, as mobile subscribers pass the 500-million mark and new opportunities for consumers, businesses and governments are unlocked, a new GSMA study shows.
The ‘Mobile Economy: Africa 2016′ report highlights the increasing contribution of Africa’s mobile industry to the regional economy, including employment and public funding, and mobile’s role as a platform for digital and financial inclusion, said GSMA Director General Mats Granryd.
By 2020, mobile technologies and services are expected to contribute around $214 billion, or 7.6 per cent of GDP, as countries benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency on the back of the increased take-up of mobile services.
At the end of 2015, 557 million unique mobile subscribers had been recorded across the continent.
“The number of unique mobile subscribers is forecast to reach 725-million by 2020, accounting for 54% of the expected population by this point,” Mr. Granryd said.
Africa’s mobile ecosystem also supported 3.8 million jobs, resulting in a tax contribution of $17 billion in 2015.
This is expected to increase to 4.5 million jobs and tax contributions of $20.5 billion by 2020.
Further, the GSMA report shows that mobile has emerged as the “platform of choice for creating, distributing and consuming innovative digital solutions and services” and stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa.
About 310 technology hubs, including 180 accelerators or incubators, are active across the continent.
“Many local and global innovators and tech entrepreneurs are now using the expansion of advanced mobile infrastructure in the region and the growing adoption of smart devices to deliver mobile-based solutions that directly appeal to local interests and cultures,” the report said.