Sub-Saharan Africa’s Mobile Economy Is Worth $150B
Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing region globally for mobile subscribers, with the mobile economy forecast to generate almost $185 billion by 2023.
With increased use of mobile services, Africa’s mobile operators are investing more in their networks, leading to improvements in productivity and efficiency, according to a report from GSMA.
There are 456 million unique mobile subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa, with 160 million subscribers expected by 2025 – a 4.6 percent compound annual growth rate.
Africa’s mobile economy continuing to grow
That will make sub-Saharan Africa the fastest-growing mobile user base in the world.
Recent data shows that the mobile ecosystem across sub-Saharan Africa generated almost $150 billion in economic value in 2018 – equivalent to 8.6 percent of the region’s GDP, according to the GSMA study.
That is expected to grow to $185 billion by 2023, ITNewsAfrica reports.
By comparison, the North American mobile economy was worth $833 billion in 2017, which represented a 4 percent contribution to the region’s GDP.
Adding North Africa to the sub-Saharan picture would make for a better comparison, but research on North Africa is combined with the Middle East.
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The Middle East North African mobile economy was worth $165 billion in 2017, and it is expected to see the second-fastest growth figures after sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years.
Mobile operators in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to spend around $60 billion on network infrastructure and services between 2018 and 2025 as the mobile economy supports more than 3.5 million jobs in the sector, Telecomlead reports.