Sub-Saharan Africa's young population is driving growth in its mobile market

18 July 2019 2 min. read
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The Mobile 360 – Africa event is set to take place in Kigali, Rwanda later this week, and the list of speakers at the event includes senior executives from the telecom, finance and consulting sectors. Ahead of the event, GSMA has offered its take on the mobile market across Africa.

As per latest research from the international trade body, the young population across Africa is set to have a considerable impact on the region’s mobile economy. Younger generations are demonstrably more familiar with the online sphere, and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is home to the youngest population across the globe.

As a result, the mobile economy across Africa is set to expand in the near future. GSMA predicts that the market might reach a staggering value of $185 billion by as early as 2023, provided that the current rate of growth is maintained and the digital potential of the region is realised.

Mobile 360 event

The SSA region is set to add as many as 1 billion internet connections by 2021, a figure that will be driven by a spike in the number of mobile subscribers across the region. GSMA’s findings reaffirm this scenario, with the firm predicting that SSA will see 160 million new unique mobile subscribers over the next half a decade.

By 2025, the number of mobile subscribers across the SSA region is expected to surpass 620 million, which is 50% of the SSA’s entire population. GSMA is set to further elaborate on these findings at the upcoming Mobile 360 event, alongside expert insights from leaders in the mobile industry, among others.

“A new generation of youthful 'digital natives' across Sub-Saharan Africa are set to fuel customer growth and drive adoption of new mobile services that are empowering lives and transforming businesses. With mobile technology at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa's digital journey, it is essential for policymakers in the region to implement policies and best practices that ensure sustainable growth in the mobile industry, and enable the transition to next-generation mobile networks,” said Akinwale Goodluck, Head of the SSA division for GSMA.

Among the speakers at the event will be Tawanda Sibanda, who is a Partner at McKinsey & Company and the consulting firm’s leader for digital services in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region. His expertise lies primarily in the banking and insurance sphere, giving him a unique take on the mobile market going forth.