Google Africa and the International Finance corporation (IFC) released a report that estimates that Africa’s internet economy could be worth $180 billion by the year 2025. This figure would represent 5.2% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the entire continent.
According to the report, the main catalyst for achieving these heights would be digital startup sector as emphasised by Google Africa Director Nitin Gajria, “Google and IFC have created this report to highlight the role the digital startup sector is playing and other factors driving the continent’s growth in order to showcase and support the opportunities the continent presents,”
The report further started that in the last decade, more than 300 million Africans gained access to the internet. As a result, 60% of the continent’s total population is connected to the web. During the same time span, more than half a billion new smartphones were connected to the grid. By 2025, the report estimates that 167 million more people will have subscribed to mobile services bringing the total to around 623 million users. In the same year, it is forecasted that smartphone connections will have doubled.
Google and IFC moved further ahead the time line and projected that in the next decade, internet usage numbers will grow by 11%, this result will account for 16% of the total global amount. This increase will present the continent as a great destination for digital startups, in fact, the report indicates that 44 million jobs will be created.
“The digital economy can and should change the course of Africa’s history. This is an opportune moment to tap into the power of the continent’s tech startups for much-needed solutions to increase access to education, healthcare, and finance, and ensure a more resilient recovery, making Africa a world leader in digital innovation and beyond,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, Interim Managing Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of IFC.
Presently, the uptrend on connectivity in Africa has led to startups introducing new technologies and given birth to 144 mobile money services in Sub – Saharan Africa. Combined, the mobile money services serve more than 469 million registered accounts with daily transactions amounting to $1.25 billion by the end of 2019, which surpassed the 298 million registered accounts for traditional bank accounts in 2017.