“The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa” report by the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA) in September 2021, puts mobile technologies and services at 8% of GDP of sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 with contribution of more than US$130 billion in economic value added.
The report revealed, by the end of 2020, 495 million people subscribed to mobile services in SubSaharan Africa, representing 46% of the region’s population – an increase of almost 20 million on 2019.
With more than 40% of the region’s population under the age of 15, young consumers owning a mobile phone for the first time will remain the primary source of growth for the foreseeable future. There will be around 120 million new subscribers by 2025, taking the total number of subscribers to 615 million (50% of the region’s population).
BIE pay attention to the following key insights of the report:
- Smartphones will account for almost two thirds of connections in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025, fueled by financing plans and more affordable devices. Smartphone adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa more than doubled between 2015 and 2020.
- Ethiopia’s smartphone adoption is forecasted to reach 58 percent in 2025 from 44 percent in 2020. Similarly, GSAM latest report estimated subscribers’ penetration rate of Ethiopia mobile industry to set foot on 40 percent, increased from 33 percent in 2020.
- 21 percent of Ethiopia’s mobile industry is projected to leverage 4G network accesses by 2025 and 1 percent to 5G network. Ethiopia’s 4G network usage rate was around 3% of the industry in 2020.
- In Ethiopia, about 75 percent of people who live in the areas covered by mobile broadband networks has not yet use mobile internet services.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, 120 million people will start using mobile between 2020 and 2025, with almost a third from Nigeria and Ethiopia. The region’s unique subscriber penetration will reach 50 percent by 2025, mostly driven by uptake among young adults owning a mobile for the first time.
- Safaricom plans to spend $8.5 billion over 10 years in network infrastructure and services and will be keen to introduce many of its services, including M-Pesa, to Ethiopia. According to the report, this will drive innovation in the country’s mobile industry market.
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