The inception of smartphones as well as the 3G, 4G mobile broadband saw a tremendous increase of strong mobile subscriber growth which boosted the mobile industry in the Africa; West Africa alone, is projected to contribute to the over $51 billion annually in the next four years.
In a recently released 2018 mobile economic report by GSMA titled, West Africa 2018 ‘Mobile 360′, the 2017 value contributed by West Africa’s mobile ecosystem stood at $37 billion, equivalent to 6.5 percent of GDP, and is forecast to witness an additional increase of 14 billion (additional 7.7 percent of GDP) by 2022.
The Mobile industry grew to the extent that by the end of 2017, there were 176 million mobile subscribers in sub region of West Africa alone. This is equivalent to a penetration rate of 47 percent of the region’s population, which is up from 28 percent 10 years ago.
According to GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer, John Giusti, “Today’s report demonstrates the vital role West Africa’s mobile ecosystem is playing in driving economic growth and empowering citizens across the region, as well as in delivering against many of the targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, further work is required as more than half of West Africa’s citizens are not yet connected to a mobile service, excluding them from the socio-economic benefits that mobile delivers.”
With the doubling of the penetration rate, the report forecast strong subscriber growth in years to come. 72 million additional mobile subscribers are expected to be added, lifting subscriber penetration to 54 per cent.
“Connecting a new generation of mobile subscribers across West Africa,” Giusti said, “requires a new era of collaboration between industry and governments in order to implement policies that encourage investments, network expansion, innovation and affordability.”