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Africa leads in mobile innovation

The continent is leading the way in developing mobile applications, research shows.
Africa's booming mobile market's edge lies in its role as an innovative hub for new products in the banking, health, education and commerce sectors. A number of recent reports released by PwC, Deloitte and the GSM Association have confirmed this growing trend.

It is generally accepted that Africa has more than 500m mobile subscribers across its 54 countries, although telecommunications analysts Informa Telecoms & Media forecast last week that this number would be as high as 750m before the end of 2012 and would reach a billion by 2015. Considering that the number of mobile subscribers in Africa was 16m in 2000, the year when mobile overtook fixed subscribers on the continent, this growth is impressive.

What is more interesting is the way Africa is leading the way in developing mobile applications.

A recent report from PwC's quarterly journal, Communications Review, says: "In addition to being one of the world's most dynamic telecoms markets, Africa is also among the most innovative, a global testing laboratory and a leader in ­digital and mobile-enabled applications in areas like payments, commerce, health and education."

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