5G Across The African Continent

5G Across The African Continent

5GOnly one in five Africans has access to the internet, a report from the World Bank concluded that a 10% increase in broadband penetration rates would lead to a 1.38% increase in GDP in developing economies. With international companies who are looking at opening a broader market across the African continent it can be overwhelming and tempting for the countries to be seduced by the enthusiasm those companies have to offer.

The African countries have shown they can compete or even surpass their industrialized counterparts when leveraging mobile technology; 3G connectivity enabled M-Peas services in Africa, that allowed Kenya to grow financially amongst its poorest 21% to 63% in just three years. Rapid adoption of equipment and technical standardization helped the deployment to move faster.

With the 5G on the horizon, Africa’s policymakers realized they needed to move quickly to leverage its benefits and empower their citizens to spur innovation.

It is estimated by 2035 the 5G will enable $12.3 trillion of global output and make a total contribution to the GDP equivalent to India’s economy. The forecast by 2035 will generate output of $43.5 trillion and support 22 million jobs worldwide. The 5G will boost the competitiveness of local business, allowing Africa to compete not only regionally but at the global level.

The 5G networks can enable a long-term digital transformation across the African continent that will contribute to the emerging of a smart society across the continent.

Implementing the 5G and reaping the benefits requires the technology and infrastructure; no services are possible without it. It could be challenging for Africa if they do not invest into upgrading their infrastructure. Investment is going to be necessary in order to move forward with the 5G.

Governments should take the lead to resolve the infrastructure solutions, becoming open to infrastructure investment. Inviting innovation from outside companies that could help to test and foster the development of the 5G.