Africa Tops 500m Mobile Users, Adds $150bn To Continent’s Economy

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Africa now has half a billion mobile users, and the mobile ecosystem added $153-billion to the African economy in 2015, according to a new GSMA study, which predicts smartphone numbers will triple in the next five years.

“At the end of 2015, 46% of the population in Africa subscribed to mobile services, equivalent to more than half a billion people,” according to The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016report. There were 557-million unique mobile subscribers on the continent, which is the world’s second highest market, but also the least penetrated. “The region’s three dominant markets – Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa – together accounted for around a third of the region’s total subscriber base.”

The $153-billion added to the economy means mobile generated 6.7% of Africa’s GDP and 3.8-million jobs in 2015, according to the report, which was released at the GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa event in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This is expected to increase to $214-billion by 2020 (or 7.6% of GDP).

Source: Forbes (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, mobile finance, research