Mobile Stats for Africa: Video Report on the Growth of Mobiles

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 15, 2011

The Praekelt Foundation, a South African organization that runs several mobile-based programs in South Africa, recently produced a catchy video infographic of mobile statistics for Africa. Looking at accessibility, growth, and usage, the video gives a good look at how mobiles have taken off in in the continent of Africa.

The video covers a lot of facts about mobiles, from a breakdown of the rapid growth of mobile phones compared to other forms of media (like radio and television) to the huge drop in price points (the first mobile phone cost US $3995 in 1973 compared to roughly US $15 for certain models today). Some facts from the video:

  • "Today the number of SMSs sent and received everyday exceeds the population of the planet"
  • "In 2002 there were 49 million cellphones in Africa, now there are 500 million"
  • "In Africa, over 95% of mobile users are pre-paid subscribers"

The video also covers other uses of mobile phones such as Please Call Me messages (in which pre-paid mobile users who have used up their airtime send a free message requesting a call back from whomever they want to speak to) and mobile payments, reporting that almost 11% of Kenya's GDP goes through the M-PESA system. M-PESA, a mobile money transfer system, registers almost 10,000 new people each day to use mobile phones to transfer money credits.

If you're curious about the mobile situation in Africa, take a few minutes to watch!

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