Impacts of Mobile Technology in the Sub-Saharan African Economy


Companies in the mobile industry normally buy inputs from their distributors and contribute to the growth of the economy within their region of operation. Moreover, some of the earnings and profits generated by the mobile sector are spent on other goods and services supporting further economic activities in the listed sectors.

A report released by GSMA estimated that the additional economic activity led to a 10 billion increase in value added in sub-Saharan Africa in 2017. This is an equivalent of 0.7% of the GDP. Apart from that, the use of mobile technology supports economic growth by improving the economic productivity. Mobile infrastructure reduces information and search costs hence giving workers a chance to be more productive and effectively organize their capital. Furthermore, mobile infrastructure can encourage economic activity by spurring market opportunities, developing more marketplace and improving borrowing and lending.

Various types of mobile technology have impacted the productivity of the regional economy in different ways. Text services and basic mobile voice allow firms and workers to have efficient and effective communication. For instance, they do that by reducing the unproductive travel time. Both the 4G and 3G technologies give firms and workers a chance of using internet services. The move improves their access to information and services that intern drives efficiency in business processes within many sectors. The role of mobile internet is important in developing nations where there is poor fixed infrastructure and mostly confined to large cities and industrial or business districts. In 2017, the productivity impacts together generated $60 billion. The mobile industry contributed $110 billion in value added terms equivalent to 7.1% of the GDP of the region in 2017.


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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on [email protected] and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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