By Emmanuel Elebeke
Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, says the mobile market in the Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to worth about N33 trillion ($166b) by 2010.
This represents 8 per cent of the region’s GDP as opposed to 5.7 per cent of GDP in 2014.
The Minister disclosed this Tuesday, while delivering his keynote address at the Emerge Tech summit 2015 in Abuja organised by the management of TechBooky, a hub for Start-Up technology entrepreneurs in Africa.
According to him, it is also expected that the number of Sub-Saharan mobile subscribers in the area will reach 722 million by the year-end.
Similarly, Shittu observed that migration to higher speed networks and smart devices had continued to rise, with mobile broadband connections set to increase from just over 20 per cent of the connection base to almost 60 per cent by the end of the decade.
In the area of employment, he stated that the mobile industry employed about two million people directly in 2014 and is expected to employ an additional 700,000 jobs created in the mobile industry by the year 2020.
This he said will bring the number to 2.7 million direct employments with an additional 3.4 million indirect jobs in the same year.
The Minister further revealed that Nigeria alone had about 136 million registered lines from the four major operators (Etisalat, MTN, Glo and Airtel), at the end of the 2014, adding that Nigerian telecom operators accounted for 35 per cent of the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria in 2014 alone.
Subsequent, he noted that Federal Governments in Nigeria have continued to make huge investments into the sector that has now become an economic lifeline.
‘‘ This investments has focused more on big businesses while start-ups and emerging businesses have continued to suffer from poorly
developed policies that have not encouraged small technology based businesses.’’
In his own address, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Dambatta, said the summit was timely considering the fact that ICT has revolutionized the 21st century and created avenue for shaping the future.