The telecoms sector will be the fastest-growing industry in Africa over the next five years as internet connectivity improves, new research* with business leaders for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows.
When asked to pick the three sectors that they believe will see the strongest growth over the next five years, three out of four (75%) senior executives selected telecoms in the study.
It was comfortably ahead of the healthcare sector which emerged as the second choice selected by 61% of survey respondents as one of three industries that will see the strongest growth ahead of tourism at 44%
Senior executives at companies with combined annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion based in
Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa were interviewed for the study.
Improvement in internet connectivity was identified as central to growth in the economy and across all sectors. Around two-thirds (66%) say it is important while 20% believe it is very important. The table below shows which sectors senior business executives believe will be the fastest-growing over the next five years.
World Mobile is helping to revolutionise internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa and is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low altitude platform balloons.
Its blockchain-based network vastly reduces capital expenditure and cuts costs compared to traditional telecom operators. World Mobile is in discussions to expand in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators.
Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile said: “The expansion of telecoms across the African continent is central to driving economic growth and senior business executives clearly agree as they rank it well ahead of other major sectors of the economy.”
“To a great extent, growth in telecoms spurs growth in other sectors as societies become more digital and technology focused and that applies very much to financial services, healthcare, retail and education.”
“Not all parts of Africa however have strong internet connectivity and we want to help by providing a service which is affordable and reliable and look forward to working with governments across the continent.”
World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, offering 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.
The World Mobile approach is more sustainable, in environmental, social and governance terms. Environmental impacts are mitigated using solar-powered nodes, second-life batteries, and energy-efficient technology. World Mobile creates 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.