Broadband penetration in Africa to increase seven-fold by 2020

Africa’s position in the global economy is marked by
dramatic contrasts. Although the continent faces high levels of poverty, ailing
infrastructure and regulatory uncertainty, the potential for growth in many of
its markets is unmatched anywhere else in the world.


To support businesses looking to take advantage of this potential, Frost &
Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, has completed an analysis entitled
Mega Trends in Africa: A bright vision for the growing continent”. The
extensive study incorporates insights from Frost & Sullivan’s team of
African analysts, and highlights the macro-economic forces that will shape the
continent’s future for the next ten to thirty years.


The study projects that, by 2020, mobile penetration in Africa will have more
than doubled from the numbers recorded in 2009. Broadband penetration will
increase nearly seven-fold over the same period.


This spurt in connectivity will generate $200 billion in opportunities for
networked sectors by 2020,” said Vitalis Ozianyi, ICT Industry analyst, Frost
& Sullivan. ICT will also become a major employer of skilled manpower.”


By 2025, Africa will have 350 million middle class consumers, and the second
highest number of city dwellers of any global region. This urbanisation will
occur mostly in West Africa, but will offer opportunities to business throughout
the continent.


Urbanisation in Africa will require the development of innovative products to
meet the specific needs of the urban poor and wants of an emerging consumer
class. These will include low cost housing options and basic infrastructure
needs such as transport, power and healthcare. Space will likely become a
currency as demand increases in concentrated areas.


Other knock-on effects of urbanisation will include greater demand for private
sector industries such as banking and telecommunications, as well as growing
levels of education. Africa’s new middle class will become champions of the
private sector, the study contends, driving a more competitive economic
environment that will be attractive to foreign investment.


Another key driver of growth will be increased regional integration across
Africa. Not only does Frost & Sullivan foresee the creation of a grand free
trade zone incorporating most, if not all, of the countries on the continent,
but also a rise in electricity trade through power pools that will ensure
supply security.


By Team
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