#M360Africa: Mobile generated up to 6.7%of Africa’s GDP and 3.8million jobs in 2015

Mobile technologies and services generated 6.7% of GDP in Africa a contribution that amounted to around $ 150 billion of economic value as at the end of the year 2015.

This is according to The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016 launched at the GSMA Mobile 360 conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The report further stated that in the period to 2020 this numbers are expected to increase to more than $210billion 7.6% of GDP as countries benefit from from the improvements inproductivity and efficiency brought about bu increased take up of mobile services.

The mobile ecosystem supported 3.8 million jobs in 2015. This includes workers directly employed in the ecosystem and jobs indirectly supported by the economic activity generated by the sector. The mobile sector also makes substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector with $17 billion raised in 2015 in the form of general taxation. The number of jobs supported will as well increase to 4.5 million by 2020 while tax contribution to public will rise to $20.5 billion.

The study reveals there were 557 million unique mobile subscribers across Africa at the end of 2015, equivalent to 46 per cent of the continent’s population, making Africa the second-largest – but least penetrated – mobile market in the world.With much room for potential growth, the report sees the number of unique mobile subscribers hitting 725 million by 2020, accounting for 54 per cent of the expected population by this point.

“At the end of 2015, 46% of the population in Africa subscribed to mobile services, equivalent to more than half a billion people.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,” read the report.

The report further notes African mobile subscribers are rapidly migrating to mobile broadband networks and services, a result of ongoing network rollouts and the increasing availability of affordable mobile broadband devices and tariffs.

On the other hand, Mobile broadband (3G/4G) accounted for just over a quarter of total connections at the end of 2015, but is expected to account for almost two-thirds by 2020. By mid-2016, there were 72 live 4G networks in 32 countries across Africa, half of which have launched in the last two years.”

The number of mobile subscribers in Africa that access the mobile internet also tripled in the last five years, reaching 300 million by 2015, equivalent to a quarter of the African population. An additional 250 million subscribers are expected to become mobile internet users by 2020, bringing the total to 550 million (41 per cent of expected population).

Mobile Money

On Mobile money the GSMA Report stated that to date there were 271 live mobile money services globally and 54% were in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report also showed that Madagascar, Rwanda and Tanzania were the only three countries where interoperability was live.

Active mobile money agents in Africa grew by 30% in 2015 accounting for 43% of all active agents Globally. Globally cross-boarder mobile money remittances grew more than any other ecosystem product in 2015 4 out of 5 mobile money based international remittance transactions occur in Africa.Mobile money registered accounts grew by 29%to reach a total 226 million in 2015.

Ecosystem transaction values in Africa grew by 34% in 2015 and reached a worth of $ 1.2 billion in December.

“Mobile money is now available in six of the seven countries where less than 20%of the adult population have an account at the financial institution. Increasingly mobile operators are are tracking data on the urban/ rural split of their customer base to capture the social and commercial opportunities of reaching underserved segments of the population. Available data shows that 37%of customer s are female while 47% live in rural areas,” said Kenechi Okeleke Senior Analyst at GSMA.

To date The mobile telephony market in Tanzania has grown significantly and, as of the end of 2015, there were over 17 million individual mobile subscribers, accounting for 34 million connections across the country. However, while mobile growth in Tanzania has been substantial, large sections of society are still left out of the digital realm.

However, in a turn of events GSMA stated that Kenya had over 22 million individual mobile subscribers (data gotten from MNOs) as compared to 37.8million subscribers recorded by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) by end of 2015.

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