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Africa’s mobile revenue 3 times that of developed countries

CMA Holdings Investment says Africa’s mobile telephony revenue as a percentage of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) is three times the norm against developed countries.

CMA Holdings Investment says Africa’s mobile telephony revenue as a percentage of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) is three times the norm against developed countries.


This comes as a study conducted by CMA Holdings showed Africa’s Internet contribution to the continent’s GDP can leap-frog to 11% from the current 1% for 2015.

CMA Holdings is a family investment holding company that is the founding shareholder of the ABN Group including CNBC Africa, Forbes Africa, ABN Productions, ABN Training institute and ABN Pictures.

Speaking recently at the just-ended African Media Leaders, CMA Holdings director Sid Wahi said mobile revenue was three times the norm compared to developed countries.

“Mobile telephony’s revenue as a percentage of GDP in Africa is three times the norm in developed economies. Mobile technology has a remarkable impact on Africa’s development by connecting people who previously had limited access due to scarcity of fixed line infrastructure,” Wahi said.

“Implementing new technology is one of the top investment priorities for African chief executive officers and business models will undergo changes based on technological integration. The Internet will create productivity gains across multiple sectors in Africa.”

The growth of revenues generated from the mobile platforms originated from the convenience involved in transacting and the ability to transact smaller amounts, Wahi said, adding that the slow start to Africa catching up was because of the lack of better technological infrastructure.

In Zimbabwe, due to liquidity constraints, the mobile platform has grown into a business platform by allowing consumers to do business with smaller amounts, lower transaction costs and in a shorter space of time.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Economic review report for the week ending November 6, mobile-based transaction volumes were 5 233 156 which accounted for 85,57% of total transactions made through national payment systems (NPS).

The RBZ economic reports have shown an increase in mobile-based transactions in month-to-month reviews proving the fact that people are transacting smaller amounts of money as the informal market is traded on a cash basis.

Reserve Bank deputy director of financial markets Josephat Mutepfa, who is also head of NPS, said: “Zimbabwe is one of the fastest growing markets in mobile money and the main driver is technology and convenience. Now the ordinary person can make a transaction with money of a smaller value each day as liquidity in the economy is more and more difficult.


“Mobile money comes in two forms, partnerships with banks with mobile operators and mobile money platforms. Technology is being driven towards the mobile industry and that is why the RBZ has permitted agency banking to allow banks to operate using mobile banking.”

He said revenue generated through the mobile platform goes well with an informal market as it allowed small businesses in that sector to conduct business on a cash basis.

Mobile platforms are able to create monetary transactions by using banks as per RBZ regulations. Mutepfa said Telecash used two banks, Ecocash three, while Onewallet used one.

“We have invested so much into the technology sector. In order to know how far the contribution of revenue would be to GDP, we would need to do a comprehensive study,” Mutepfa said.

The second quarter of the mobile sector from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority showed mobile penetration rate increased by 0,7% to reach 91,5% from 90,8% recorded in the previous quarter.

The total number of Internet subscriptions increased by 0,6% to record 5 815 518 subscribers from 5 782 491 subscribers recorded in the previous quarter.

The total value of deposits on mobile money platforms increased by 25,8% to record $512 million from $407 million recorded in the previous quarter.