Investors all over the world are keeping a jealous watch on Africa in the hopes that it would soon become the world’s largest mobile market. Africa’s immense potential for growth is attracting their attention. The year 2019 is, without a shadow of a doubt, the year to prioritize investments in Africa’s mobile industry in order to take advantage of this financial potential.
According to a Mobile Report for Africa that was published by Jumia, the top e-commerce platform in Africa, the real production growth of the African continent is projected to reach 4.1% by the end of 2019; this is up from an estimated 3.5% in 2018. The growth is anticipated to occur as a direct consequence of the improvement in the continent’s macroeconomic situation.
In 2017, the Mobile Economy was responsible for 110 billion US Dollars, or 7% of Africa’s overall GDP. By 2022, it is anticipated that the Mobile Economy would create more than $150 billion, or around 7.9% of Africa’s GDP. In 2017, the mobile technologies and services industry contributed to the maintenance of an additional 3 million employment.
A growing population of 1.28 billion people, of which 42% of them are in cities, and a snowballing middle class that is expected to reach 1.1 billion out of the 2.5 billion Africans by 2050 – leading to a higher purchasing power – are among the considerations that are contributing to Africa’s mobile explosion.
Other factors that have contributed to much of Africa’s growth in mobile subscriptions include the decrease in the price of mobile data plans, the increasing efficiency brought about by smartphones in areas such as online shopping and purchases, mobile payments, and information searching, and the increasing availability of smartphones at more affordable price points.
However, the expansion of mobile will continue to be uneven because the 54 countries that makeup Africa record diverse performances, both in the mobile marketplaces that are specific to each country and in their overall economies.
Increasing Prevalence Of Mobile Devices In Africa
In 2018, there were 255 million smartphone connections in Africa, which is equivalent to 36 percent of the continent’s entire population. This is in comparison to the 444 million mobile subscribers who are expected to exist on the continent by the year 2017.
It is anticipated that there will be over 690 million smartphones in Sub-Saharan Africa by the year 2025, which will equate to a connection rate of approximately 66%.
Jumia, the top e-commerce platform in Africa, has stated that the average price of smartphones has decreased over the past three years. This is despite the fact that the inability of some members of the population to buy cell phones has been cited as a significant barrier to entry.
In 2016, consumers spent an average of 99 USD to buy a smartphone through the site. This figure dropped to 96 USD in 2017 and then to 95 USD in 2018, respectively.
However, the proliferation of inexpensive entry-level handsets made by firms that are focused on affordability continues to be a major factor in driving smartphone adoption in Africa. Infinix, Samsung, Xiaomi, Tecno, and Fero were some of the best mobile phone brands sold on Jumia in 2018.
Infinix has been the most popular mobile phone brand in Jumia for the past three years.
In addition, although the price of mobile data is becoming more affordable across the board in Africa, it is still rather expensive, with the price of 1 gigabyte representing an average of approximately 8.76% of monthly income in 2017.
A strong migration rate to mobile broadband-capable connections is now being seen in sub-Saharan Africa, and it is anticipated that 5G connections will be launched in Africa in the year 2021.
In 2018, the percentage of people using 4G was 6%, while 3G had 35% of users and 2G had 59%. By 2025, only 3% of all connections will be made using 5G, while the percentage of connections made using 4G will increase to 24%.
The percentage of connections that use 3G will be the majority at 59%, while the percentage of connections that use 2G will have decreased to just 14%.
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