The mobile telecommunications industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has contributed $102 billion to the region’s economy in 2014, according to a new study by Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).
The figure is an equivalent to 5.7 per cent of the region’s gross domestic product, GDP. Mobile operators directly contributed $31 billion, representing 1.7 per cent of GDP with total mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa on track to reach 722 million by year-end. This is contained in the report unveiled at the ‘Mobile 360 Series – Africa’ conference being held in Cape Town this week entitled ‘The Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa 2015’.
This economic contribution is set to leap 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 has been projected to contribute $166 billion in value to the region by 2020, equivalent to eight per cent of expected GDP by this point.
Acting Director General and Chief Technology Officer at the GSMA, Alex Sinclair, said: “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.”