The Brief: Mobile Industry Will Contribute $50 billion to West Africa’s Economy in 5 Years

In this week's Brief, West Africa's mobile industry is set to contribute $50 billion to its economy within 5 years, Ghana's economy grew by 8.7% in 2017, and Ivory Coast's Minister of Communications says the country will be ready for it's transition to digital by 2020.

Mobile Industry Will Contribute $50 billion to West Africa’s Economy in Five Years

According to GSMA’s new report, the mobile industry will have a significant economic impact on West Africa.  At the Mobile 360 event, GSMA revealed that West Africa’s mobile ecosystem contributes $36 billion to the economy, which equates to 6.5% of GDP. GSMA expects this figure to increase to $51 billion (7.7% of GDP) within five years.

Growing subscriptions and the transition to mobile broadband networks will increase the region’s economic growth within this period.

The rise of mobile-centred startups is proof that the mobile industry has a palpable effect on the region’s economic and social landscape. According to John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer at the GSMA, “Today’s report demonstrates the vital role West Africa’s mobile ecosystem is playing in driving economic growth and empowering citizens across the region, as well as in delivering against many of the targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”. The mobile industry could add another layer of internal transformation to West Africa, altering and strengthening its global economic presence.

John Giusti admits that further work is required because half of West Africa’s population are yet to connect to mobile networks. At the end of 2017, West Africa had 176 million mobile subscribers according to the GSMA intelligence report. This statistic is equivalent to 47% of the region’s population, showing an increase of 28% since the start of the decade.

The report expects the youth population to contribute to the rapid growth in the mobile industry, as more than 40% of the Sub-Saharan population is under the age of 16.

The mobile industry has positive outcomes for West Africa’s socio-economic landscape. Expansion of 3G and 4G networks with lower tariffs, along with cheaper smartphones propelling the shift to mobile broadband in the region, will create greater societal inclusion. This industry provides more jobs and improves the access to information for businesses.

GSMA is a company that unites nearly 800 mobile operations and provides industry-leading events.

Ghana’s Economy Grew by 8.7% in 2017

2017 saw Ghana’s economy increase by 8.7%. This represents Ghana’s fastest growth rate in five years. Comparatively, economic growth reached just 3.7% in 2016.

The fiscal figure is indicative of Ghana’s expanding economy. As a nation, Ghana exports cocoa and gold. Ghana began oil production trade in late 2010, outputting 100,000 barrels per day. According to the Ghana Government statistician, Baah Wadieh, “oil and gas are the key drivers of the growth”.

Nigerian Bank, Access Bank Plc Launches New Dialling Code

Access Bank Plc has released a unique Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code *901*11#. The USSD code is a strategic device for the the bank’s new PayDay loan product.

According to Access Bank’s Executive Director, Personal Banking, Victor Etuokwu, “Acquiring loans in Nigeria has always been known to be limiting – either due to access, collateral issues, including the duration of the approval process…we are emphasising Access Bank’s position in offering lifestyle products and services that meets their financial needs.” Through the new dialling code, the bank provides a service which meets the need of those seeking a loan without the need of a guarantor.

Minister of Communications States That Cote d’lvoire Will Be Ready For Digital Transition Before 2020

According to Bruno Nabagné Koné, Minister of Communications, Digital Economy and Post, Cote d’Ivoire will achieve its digital transition by the new deadline of June 2020.

Cote d’Ivoire’s shift to digital will liberalise its airwaves, encouraging greater industry participation from private broadcasters.

This inclusion could diversify and strengthen the country’s media content output.

The World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar Tender Decrease the cost of electricity in Senegal.

The World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar Program held a competition which resulted in two bids from ENGIE/MERIDIAM.

The bid produces electricity for under 4 euros in Kahone and Touba. This deal is one of the most cost-effective sources of electricity in Sub- Saharan Africa, setting a new standard.

In the past, Senegal implemented a governmental objective “Plan Senegal Emergent”. The two solar plants will help Senegal meet these  objectives.

The World Bank Group construed and helped CRSE run the tender, which had 14 bids for the two projects.