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“I use my phone for everything,” exclaimed the 24-year-old Kenyan-Ugandan

The mobile networks have developed rapidly in recent years in areas previously unserved in Africa.

Alongside the European Orange, Vodafone and Tigo (Millicom), it is South Africa’s MTN and Zain Middle Eastern and Moov. Their strategy is to have lower prices to increase market share, even as investments in network development is slow due to the financial crisis. A key part of the communications revolution “in Africa” factor is the reduction in roaming charges – which is to apply the local rate to a user even if it is abroad. Regional integration will increase as these strategies will spread operators and ultimately cancel the price differences from one country to another.

The increase in pan-African mobile networks can be explained by the strong presence of European operators Orange, Tigo and Vodacom, South Africa’s MTN and Zain Middle Eastern and Moov. The six operators accounted for 52% of mobile subscriptions in Africa in 2008(Figure1). The figures on the population covered by these operators are impressive: Zain and MTN had, respectively, 62 and 55 million African consumers in 2008. Vodafone is close behind with 44 million users. Other operators, Orange, Moov and Tigo together cover 25 million consumers. On the whole, 370 million Africans had a line of mobile phones in 2008, that is to say 4 out of 10 African. 

Figure 1 :

 The average rate of growth of the pan-African operators is impressive. It stood at 41% in 2008, 44% in 2009 (Fugure 2). But two newcomers (Orange, Tigo and 68% to 82%) were much better than some operators already present (Zain, MTN and 52%, 60%). Most of the growth is provided by Zain Nigeria, which represents 43% of its subscribers in Africa.

Besides, the penetration rate of mobile phones is still low, the region has a strong growth potencial. Operators in emerging countries, as well as those of European countries, this potential well integrated into their investment policies.

Figure 2 :


  Africa demonstrates its potential for technological innovation and commercial. It also shows that telecom operators and regulators can work together to design effective solutions in terms of cost reduction. In the European Union, of such agreements have foundered on regulatory considerations when, for example, Vodafone and Mannesmann sought to merge in 2000. The merger was self-mockery as long as the two parties offer roaming to mobile operators as other affiliates. The fact that African operators are present in a large number of countries and that PaymentsPlus re-interventions are limited allowed the development of the Pan-African network tariff.

The rise in investment in mobile telephony due to a large potential for growth in African markets. This finds its roots in an unprecedented demand by African consumers, who finally find the arrival of technology that can give them access to strong interest in the development, such as education, health, payments or trade, and also for bank. Today we see a new operation with mobile phone : transfer money with mobile phone. This new technology also new increases the demand of consumer and provide competitiveness between mobile firms To capture this new opportunity. Companies are responsible of the creation of new needs.  

The welfare of African will be increase with this new technology ? Maybe not…

Sources : 

Sandra Berthelot




Author: studentnovasbe

Master student in Nova Sbe

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