The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2023

489
M

unique mobile subscribers in 2023, indicating a 43% penetration rate

287
M

mobile internet users in 2023, indicating a 25% penetration rate

$
170
BN

in economic value added by the mobile industry to the Sub-Saharan economy in 2023, 8.1% of GDP

Mobile connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to drive digital transformation and socioeconomic advances.

While 3G remains the most dominant technology in the region, the adoption of 4G has accelerated, partly driven by the growing demand for faster speeds among younger consumers. Over the next five years, 4G adoption in the region will more than double to 45%.

5G momentum is also growing, although the initial focus for 5G deployment is on urban areas and industrial locations, where there is greater need for the technology. In 2030, 5G is expected to contribute $11 billion to the Sub-Saharan African economy, accounting for more than 6% of the overall economic impact of mobile.

As well as growing 5G momentum, other key trends shaping the mobile ecosystem include artificial intelligence and the opportunity for it to steer growth; improving smartphone access; a move towards circular economy principles in light of growing climate concerns; and the rise of fintech which is driving collaboration and innovation across the region.