GSMA Study Says Mobile and related e-commerce Contribution to Sub-Saharan African Economy Surpasses N19.7 trillion ($100 billion) in the past year
Mobile industry players in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries contributed over N19.7 trillion to the economies of the developing nations in the past years. This figure represents mother than $100 billion, according to Global Systems for Mobile-telecommunications Association (GSMA).
According to a report revealed at the latest GSMA: Mobile 360 Series – Africa conference, digital commerce is on the rise in Africa, and is being supported by growing internet penetration.
GSMA report which revealed that mobile commerce is on the rise in Africa noted that ‘The Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa 2015’, revealed that the US$102 billion economic contribution in 2014 was equivalent to 5.7 per cent of the region’s GDP1. Mobile operators directly contributed US$31 billion, representing 1.7 per cent of GDP.
This economic contribution is set to increase over the coming years as mobile operators continue to extend connectivity to unconnected populations across the region and roll out new mobile broadband networks and services.
The industry is forecast to contribute US$166 billion in value to the region by 2020, equivalent to 8 per cent of expected GDP by this point.
According to Acting Director General and Chief Technology Officer at GSMA, Alex Sinclair, “despite revenue and margin pressures, local mobile operators continue to invest heavily to extend network coverage to serve unconnected communities and accelerate the migration to high-speed 3G/4G mobile broadband networks.
” Sinclair noted that mobile technology is also playing a central role in SubSaharan Africa by addressing a range of socio-economic challenges, particularly digital and financial inclusion, and enabling access to vital services such as education and healthcare.
“The mobile industry remains a key driver of economic growth and employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, making a vital contribution given the population growth and high unemployment levels seen in many countries in the region,” he said.
The UNION gathered that the report also states that mobile commerce will be central to the evolution of the digital commerce market in Sub-Saharan Africa, as the majority of internet users in the region will access the Web through mobile devices. Another survey by In Mobi in 2014, which includes data from 14,000 users across 14 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa,predicted that 83 per cent of consumers plan to conduct mobile commerce in the next 12 months, an increase of 15 percentage points on the 2013 figure.
A number of established digital commerce sites are present in the region, some of them offering crossborder transactions. One particular success story is Jumia, which was founded in 2012 with funding from Rocket Internet. The firm has expanded across the region from its original base in Nigeria, with local sites in several countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Senegal, Uganda and Ghana. Mobile is a key part of Jumia’s strategy. It has partnered with MTN and Millicom to drive future growth by increasing traffic from its mobile users through promotions, joint marketing campaigns, cross-selling, and payment facilitation.
– Isaiah Onwuanumba