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The rise of Africa’s digital economy – Tackling the ‘usage gap’ to create a thriving market for mobile services

As the COVID era recedes, consumers, companies and governments are wondering how to consolidate the digital switchover that was accelerated during this period – and even accelerate it further where necessary.

In this, Africa has an advantage. Across the continent, the primary tool for accessing new digital services is the phone. For millions of its citizens, the connected handset is the only gateway to the digital world. The option to go online via desktop PCs and wired internet connections does not yet exist for a substantial proportion of the population.

Thus, Africa is mobile-first – and this has much to recommend it. Self-evidently, the mobile is personal, flexible and location-aware. Most of all, it is much more affordable for low-income consumers. Africa can develop forward-looking mobile services in entertainment, education, health, finance and more without the ‘baggage’ of legacy desktop methodologies.

This report assesses the progress of the key mobile digital services markets across Africa. It addresses the challenges facing these sectors, and includes the views of some of the continent’s foremost industry innovators and leaders in a series of exclusive interviews.

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