from PHYLLIS BIRORI in Kigali, Rwanda
KIGALI – SUB-Saharan Africa remains the fastest-growing region, with 477 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2019, the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) has disclosed.
With an additional 137 million subscribers over the period to 2025, this represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4,3 percent.
Notably, 272 million are now mobile internet users, representing 26 percent of the population of more than 1,3 billion.
GSMA disclosed the figures alongside the announcement that it would host Mobile World Congress (MWC) Africa in Kigali, Rwanda in 2021.
This brings the leading global event series to the continent for the first time.
Mats Granryd, GSMA Director General, announced this during his opening keynote address at a recent Thrive Africa, the GSMA’s virtual event platform, which runs from September 29 to October 1.
“From 2021 we will celebrate MWC Africa, joining our world-leading platform for thought-leadership and technology, recognising the important role Africa will play in our connected future,” Granryd said.
GSMA disclosed that in 2019, mobile technologies and services generated 9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Sub-Saharan Africa, a contribution of more than $155 billion.
Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Africa, GSMA, said the findings from the Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa report showed the importance and value of digital connectivity.
He said realising the full potential of a progressive digital future required an informed policy debate of the sort that GSMA Thrive Africa would deliver.
“I look forward to welcoming everyone in person to the inaugural MWC21 Africa, an event which represents the continent’s next step towards closing the digital divide,” Goodluck said.
– CAJ News