A report by GSMA shows that investment in African Finctech companies grew to approximately $ 357 million in 2018, with sub-Saharan countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa taking the largest share. At the same time, the E-commerce business is booming. The success of platforms like Jumia and SafeBoda are taking advantage of widespread internet connectivity and transport systems to deliver goods and customers respectively. While Africa has inspiring success stories owing from digital progress, there’s more to do to sustain its prowess.
The GSMA report projects that by 2023, the mobile industry will contribute 9.1% of the GDP in Sub Saharan Africa. Currently, the contribution lies at 8.6%. At the same time, the mobile ecosystem has created approximately 3.5 million jobs and contributes up to $ 15.6 billion in taxes. This is despite the region’s low performance in mobile connectivity, especially in crucial metrics like consumer readiness, affordability, availability of content and service enablers and infrastructure. In 2018, Sub-Saharan Africa recorded an index of 37.8 against a global average of 57.5. What can Sub-Saharan Governments do to improve connectivity and drive businesses?
Policy revolving around the establishemnt of robust network infrastructure are the key to creating an even better enabling environment for Fintech and E-Commerce platforms among aother business models. For instance, governments should support technology-neutral spectrum licensing including best practices such as removing barriers that restrict transitioning into next-generation network technologies. This will allow businesses to benefit from superior broadband experiences at affordable costs necessary to drive innovation and flow of information.
At the same time, the report urges governments to create effective frameworks for spectrum auctions to promote competitive high-quality mobile services. This includes designing auction mechanisms that encourage affordability and high-quality mobile services to grant service providers license spectrums. Such a best practice will improve mobile connectivity affordability and therefore drive usage in both businesses and individuals.