Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


MWC Kigali: GSMA's Mats Granryd on Africa's mobile economy

GSMA Director General Mats Granryd sat down with Connecting Africa Editor Paula Gilbert on the sidelines of MWC Kigali 2023 in Rwanda to talk about the growth of Africa's mobile economy and the major trends making waves in the industry.

He spoke about the key stats coming out of the GSMA's Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa Report for 2023 which revealed that operators in the region will spend US$75 billion on their networks during 20232030, mostly on 4G.

"Today there are over 480 million mobile subscribers in [sub-Saharan] Africa and we believe that will grow to 700 million by 2030, so, substantial growth of the number but also the usage per individual will grow quite dramatically," he said.

He discussed the reasons behind Africa's mobile Internet usage gap of 59%, which is people who are covered by a mobile broadband network but who are still not using the mobile Internet.

The barriers include affordability of smartphones and high taxation on devices, a lack of digital education and relevant content in local languages as well as safety concerns.

He also spoke about 4G growth in Africa and the growing potential of 5G.

"4G is growing and I think globally it's still growing, maybe this year is the tipping point globally, in Africa it is certainly growing. On 5G we just passed 1 billion 5G subscribers [globally] at the beginning of this year and we will have 1.5 billion at least by the end of 2023, so it is definitely taking off," he said adding that he sees 5G as a service predominately for business-to-business use cases.

The GSMA expects 5G to benefit the sub-Saharan Africa economy by US$11 billion in 2030, accounting for more than 6% of the overall economic impact of mobile.

He also gave his view on how generative artificial intelligence will impact the telecoms industry and what needs to be done to minimize the mobile gender gap and get more African women online.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Four agritech startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of four agritech startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.


Paymentology looks to strengthen its African roots

Global issuer-processor Paymentology's CEO Jeff Parker spoke to Connecting Africa about the company's African roots and aspirations to work with more banks, fintechs and enterprises both on the continent and globally.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in February 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included 5G launches in Senegal and 5G trials in Egypt as well as Kenya's first 5G MVNO. Airtel also launched a new wholesale connectivity business while MTN and Huawei are planning a joint Innovation Technology Lab in South Africa – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002