Africa’s digital economy projected to hit Sh20trn – Business Daily

The value of Africa’s internet economy is projected to more than double to over $200 billion next three years from the current estimated $115 billion, according to a new report.
The research commissioned by blockchain-based mobile network operator, World Mobile shows professional investors are forecasting strong growth in the value of Africa’s internet economy with mobile phones central to the expansion.
The study by independent research company PureProfile surveyed investors responsible for around $700 billion assets under managment. It found that one in four (25pc) investor managers expect Africa’s internet industry to increase by 51 percent in three years.
Increased use of mobile phones will be central to the growth which will be further enhanced by improved affordability, says the study which interviewed investors in the US, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nigeria, and Switzerland found.
Around 71 percent of the professional investors expect affordability of mobile phones in Africa to improve over the next three years – currently, it is estimated they account for around 6.8 percent of monthly incomes on average – while nearly all professional investors (97pc) believe the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated demand for mobiles.
World Mobile is launching its unique hybrid mobile network supported by low altitude platform balloons in Zanzibar which it plans to roll-out throughout the continent. It is already in discussions with government officials in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators.
Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile said professional investors see the opportunities for the African internet economy and are clearly expecting mobile phones to play a central role in driving it forward over the next three years.
“Affordability is central to the increasing adoption of mobile phones but none of it is achievable without connectivity. We want to help create a world where everyone can access affordable connectivity, a world where economic freedom is a truth and a world where people are able to jump on the opportunities that internet creates,” Mr Watkins said.
Professional investors questioned believe healthcare is the sector which will see the most benefit from increased connectivity. Around 53 percent highlighted the opportunities for healthcare ahead of e-commerce on 42 percent and media and entertainment on 40percent.
The education sector was chosen by 33percent of professional investors questioned alongside finance which was selected by 34percent.
World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, providing a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs.
World Mobile seeks to create a positive societal impact through the application of its circular economy model – a “sharing economy” where locals share in the ownership and rewards of the network.
Governance is maintained by the secure underlying blockchain technology, which means that user data privacy is guaranteed and not commercially applied as it is by other mobile operators.
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By Kwetu Buzz

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