Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a new white paper titled “Towards A Flourishing Digital Economy for All – A Spotlight On Africa” was published – and discussed for the first time by a panel including senior executives from Vodacom, SafariCom, Smart Africa and the World Bank.
The paper was commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Trade and conducted by GSMA’s Mobile World Live team of analysts.
The report examines how the mobile industry and its partners are working to open up a $180bn market opportunity by 2025.
“Towards A Flourishing Digital Economy for All – A Spotlight on Africa” explores the progress made in building Africa’s mobile driven digital economy and discusses how mobile commerce is booming across the continent with four nations that are leading the way – Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa.
It examines how a growing cohort of dynamic businesses are adapting their services to address the specific challenges of the African mobile commerce market including unbanked customers, the lack of reliable identity credentials and last mile delivery issues.
Additional obstacles to growth are discussed in detail and include:
- Digital infrastructure
- Mobile connectivity and internet access
- Mobile money
- Social and digital inclusion
- Mobile commerce
However, the DIT and GSMA are strong in their belief that Africa’s innovative and dynamic tech community of entrepreneurs can address these barriers and are confident that the private and public sectors can work together to find solutions that will see the continent become a flourishing hub for digital trade.
Speaking at the launch event in Barcelona, Dr Mike Short, Chief Scientific Adviser, DIT, UK, said “Our report triggers a much-needed discussion on how to advance the mobile commerce revolution in Africa, which will in the long-term lead to mutually beneficial digital trade between the continent and its trading partners, including the UK”.
The UK Government and GSMA are long-term partners and created the Mobile for Development initiative to drive innovation in digital technology across Africa and improve connectivity/inclusion for the underserved.
The “Towards A Flourishing Digital Economy for All – A Spotlight On Africa” report can be downloaded here.