The mobile industry will contribute $104 billion to the sub-Saharan Africa’s economy by 2020 in investments that will represent 6.2 per cent of the region’s projected GDP by 2020.
This was gleaned from ‘Mobile Economy 2014: Sub-Saharan Africa’, a new report by the GSM Association (GSMA), the organisation that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide,
The report described the industry as “a valuable and growing contributor to the regional economies of sub-Saharan Africa,” which contributed 5.4 percent to overall gross domestic product (GDP) in the region, equivalent to $75 billion in 2013. This included a direct contribution of $27 billion or 1.9 per cent of GDP by mobile operators.
The mobile industry is a significant source of employment and job creation in the region, the report cited adding that in 2013, the mobile ecosystem directly employed nearly 2.4 million people and indirectly supported a further 3.7 million jobs.
The industry also makes a large contribution to public funding in the form of general taxation ($13 billion in 2013), and through further contributions via license and regulatory fees and spectrum auctions.
Operators in the region invested more than $45 billion over the last six years (2008 to 2013) to expand coverage and increase network capacity. Capital expenditure over the next seven years (2014 to 2020) is forecast to total around $97 billion as operators accelerate investments in order to meet rising demand for mobile data services.