The Global Systems for Mobile Association (GSMA) has announced that it will host MWC Africa in Kigali, Rwanda in 2021 – this comes after MWC 2020 was scrapped in the wake of numerous wireless tech heavyweights deciding to pull out from the conference citing the coronavirus outbreak. MWC21 Africa is expected to bring together the leading names in business and technology from all around the world.
The Director General of the GSMA Director General Mats Granryd speaking on the development said that “I am proud of what we have built with Thrive and the previous Mobile 360 events, which have helped shape the continent’s connected digital future.”
“From 2021 we will celebrate MWC Africa, joining our world-leading platform for thought-leadership and technology, recognising the important role Africa will play in our connected future.”
“Around the world, access to mobile internet is helping close the digital divide. Its transformative power is nowhere more obvious than in Africa. That is why I’m excited about welcoming the world to Kigali next year to shine a light on African mobile and tech innovation.”
The GSMA has also published its annual Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa report. This in-depth study explores the latest data, forecasts and trends for the region. It includes a range of policy recommendations that will help ensure that mobile internet makes the best possible contribution to the regional economy, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the fastest-growing region, with 477 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2019, with an additional 137 million subscribers over the period to 2025, representing a CAGR of 4.3%. Notably, 272 million are now mobile internet users, representing 26% of the population. In 2019, mobile technologies and services generated 9% of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa, a contribution of more than $155 billion.
“The findings from our Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa report clearly show the importance and value of digital connectivity,” says Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Africa at GSMA.
“Realising the full potential of a progressive digital future requires an informed policy debate of the sort that GSMA Thrive Africa will deliver. I look forward to welcoming everyone in person to the inaugural MWC21 Africa, an event which represents the continent’s next step towards closing the digital divide.”