2020

The Mobile Economy
Sub-Saharan Africa

475
M

people in the region will be mobile
internet users by 2025

27
%

of connections by 2025 will be on
4G with 3% on 5G

$
184
BN

mobile industry contribution
to GDP by 2024

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the digital landscape around the world. The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has largely risen to the challenge of keeping individuals and businesses connected during the pandemic, despite changes in data consumption patterns. However, with nearly 800 million people in the region still not connected to the mobile internet, it has never been more urgent to close the digital divide.

Governments and policymakers should implement policies to enhance access to connectivity and drive investment in more resilient digital infrastructure for the future. This is crucial to reactivating the region’s economy post- Covid-19 despite the sizable contribution mobile technologies and services generated in 2019, at 9% of regional GDP.

Efficient and effective management of spectrum is also key to maximise the opportunities that mobile connectivity can bring to society. Making sure the required spectrum resources are available under the right conditions will lower broadband costs, increase coverage and boost connectivity. The 2020s will see strong growth in the number of Africans connected to mobile broadband. As 4G and 5G grow together throughout the decade to come, spectrum preparation can drive cost efficiency and promote growth.