According to the latest report presented by GSMA, the increasing number of mobile phone users in Africa currently contributes about $110 billion and is expected to reach US$150 by 2020. There is an increasing adaptability in the African people towards mobile phones. Fuelling this trend are the better telecom companies and also cheaper mobile handsets. The mobile user growth rate is projected to be twice the global growth rate.
It’s also the reason that we see many online gaming sites like Betway South Africa online casino and sports betting entertainment getting more popular than ever.
However, not everything is going as planned. Sure, we have African countries focusing on digital growth which is sure to make their economies grow faster. However, they are also missing out on certain opportunities.
How is Africa missing out?
The sad part is that African nations are simply overlooking this trend. There are no concrete efforts for increasing indigenously manufactured mobile sets. The mobile sets are imported despite these nations having almost all the raw material. If the African nations come together and establish mobile handset manufacturing units, the economy will definitely see an upsurge. But not one of the governments seems to be thinking about this topic. The increasing rate of unemployment among the African youth can be solved through the establishment of new industries.
There is another facet to this debate
Not one of the African nations is serious enough about imparting global level technical education to their youth. They have a limited number of technical institutes with sub-par education standards. Without the right skill sets, it can become difficult to have the right workforce.
So, most tech companies also avoid establishing their manufacturing units in Africa. Why will they do so when they can get neither skilled manpower locally nor any kind of incentive from the governments?
This gap is filled by the Asian brands who definitely rule the economy charts. Most of the mobile phones that are used in African nations are imported from these nations. Tecno and Samsung have the largest market share. They either export completed handsets to Africa or parts which are assembled here. African countries have no more than some assembling units.
The African nations’ governments need to make an informed and strategic decision on this issue. This is a golden opportunity to convert the whole continent into a mobile manufacturing hub. We have got all the raw materials, an increasing number of users, youth who are willing to get skilled and enough land for establishing industries. With good incentives, we can surely attract the global brands here. Technical education’s quality also needs to be revised. We hope that the governments realize the fact soon that this budding economic opportunity needs to be tapped as soon as possible for faster economic growth.