The mobile industry is creating a growing Africa digital economic revolution and through the rise of mobile money is changing the continent’s economy.
The mobile sector in Africa has witnessed substantial progress in the last ten years due to the increase in smartphone adoption and the surge of mobile financial services. With the majority of Africans now owning a mobile device, the mobile industry has become a major driver of the continent’s digital economy, providing opportunities for new businesses, job creation, and innovation.
One of the key factors behind the success of Africa’s mobile industry is its high adaptability rate. Despite the challenges of developing infrastructure in remote and underserved areas, mobile operators have been able to provide affordable and accessible mobile services to millions of people across the continent. This has enabled African businesses and individuals to participate in the digital economy, connecting them to the global marketplace and increasing their economic opportunities.
Mobile money has been a particularly successful innovation in Africa, with services like M-PESA transforming the way Africans store, receive, and send money. This has allowed for the creation of decentralized currencies such as stable coins and crypto coins, paving the way for greater financial inclusion and the growth of the digital economy.
The mobile industry has also played a significant role in the development of e-commerce and the blockchain industry in Africa. With the rapid growth of mobile technology, businesses have been able to expand beyond the restrictions of physical storefronts, reaching new customers and markets online. This has led to the emergence of a vibrant e-commerce ecosystem, with companies like Jumia and Konga becoming major players in the African digital economy.
In addition, the blockchain industry has shown tremendous potential in Africa, particularly in the area of decentralised finance (DeFi). With the rise of blockchain-powered platforms like Paxful and Binance, individuals and businesses in Africa have been able to access financial services that were previously unavailable or too expensive. This has led to the creation of new investment opportunities and the democratisation of finance in the region.
Overall, Africa’s mobile industry has become a vital component of the continent’s digital economy, with the potential to unlock even greater opportunities for growth and development in the years ahead. As more countries adopt the new age of digitalization, the mobile industry will continue to play a critical role in shaping Africa’s economic future.
What the future holds
As more entrepreneurs and organisations recognise the need for a digital platform to expand their user base, the mobile industry in Africa is poised to keep delivering significant growth in years to come.
Some governments are also leveraging this growth to implement innovative digital solutions that benefit their citizens. For instance, Nigeria has launched a digital National ID system, taking advantage of the country’s rapid smartphone adoption. This system has been complemented by the launch of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) called the e-Naira, with several mobile applications developed for easy access and registration.
Through these initiatives, the government aims to provide banking services to the unbanked and people in rural areas.
A few African-themed mobile applications have also emerged, including what3words, which adopts an online addressing system. This application has gained widespread adoption, and in 2020, Vodacom, a major telecommunications company in South Africa, recognized its significance. According to the GSMA, Africa’s mobile industry has the potential to positively impact millions of lives. The organization has established various Mobile For Development initiatives that have reached over 45 million people across 128 projects. The primary objective of these initiatives is to continue to promote Africa’s digital economy and establish new and innovative ways to further drive digitalization on the continent.