Agence Ecofin TikTok Agence Ecofin Youtube Agence WhatsApp


SSA's mobile subscriptions projected to hit 1.1bn by 2028, driving financial inclusion (report)

Saturday, 16 March 2024 05:38
SSA's mobile subscriptions projected to hit 1.1bn by 2028, driving financial inclusion (report)

(Ecofin Agency) - Mobile service subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa stood at 980 million in 2022, as per recent report by the GSMA. However, the actual number of unique mobile subscribers in the region is lower since some individuals own multiple SIM cards.

According to a November 2023 report by Swedish technology company Ericsson, mobile subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa are projected to hit 1.1 billion by 2028, up from 940 million in 2023. This represents an annual compound growth rate of 3%. The "Ericsson Mobility Report 2023" attributes this expected growth to innovative regulatory measures aimed at expanding network coverage, as well as significant investments from telecom companies and governments. Positive economic prospects in the region are also expected to support this growth.


Ericsson highlighted that the accelerated adoption of mobile technology is occurring as "connectivity has become a basic need for voice and data communications, as well as for enabling services such as banking, which have traditionally had low penetration."


These predictions echo those from the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), which stated in October 2023 that mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to reach 1.36 billion by 2030, growing at an annual compound rate of 4.3%. It is noteworthy that GSMA recorded a total of 980 million mobile connections in the region in 2022.

Increased mobile subscriptions could connect more people in SSA

The rise in mobile subscriptions could lead to more individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa using connectivity services. In this context, "subscription" refers to each active SIM card, even if individuals own more than one.

The GSMA forecasts that the number of unique mobile subscribers in the region could reach 692 million by 2030, up from 489 million in 2022. Consequently, the penetration rate is expected to increase from 43% to 50%.

Mobile technology: A catalyst for financial inclusion in SSA

The anticipated increase in mobile subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa signifies more than just an expansion of communication services; it offers opportunities to enhance the livelihoods of the region's populations.

The adoption of mobile technology can lead to the increased financial inclusion of Sub-Saharan African populations through mobile money. Individuals with a mobile phone can access mobile money services even without internet access, thanks to Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).

The penetration of mobile technology is considered a key factor in the adoption of mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa. The region had 763 million mobile money accounts in 2022, according to the GSMA's "State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2023," a significant increase from the 56.9 million accounts recorded in 2012.


The World Bank's "Global Findex Database 2021" confirms that "mobile money has become an important enabler of financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa—especially for women—as a driver of account ownership and of account usage through mobile payments, savings, and borrowing."



Public Management

ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

Mediamania Sarl
Rue du Léman, 6
1201 Genève
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11


Benjamin FLAUX
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11
Mob: +41 78 699 13 72


Please publish modules in offcanvas position.