Kedar Gupte, chief mobility business officer, MTN Global Connect, delivered a keynote address to the audience at the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit 2022.
He provided an overview of how MTN GC is moving Africa forward. “Due to its business-friendly policies, consumer-driven growth and human capital, Africa offers many opportunities as one of the last frontier markets in the world,” he stated. The first opportunity is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the world’s largest free trade area, which will facilitate trade and boost Africa’s economy by US$ 450 billion by 2035. The second opportunity is the average per capita income of Africans will increase sixfold, to US$ 17,500, by 2050, as 1.4 billion Africans join the middle class. An additional third break has the Africans in the working age group surpassing China and India by 2034 for the largest working population. The last opportunity was cemented as Africa experienced the most rapid growth rate of 47% in international internet bandwidth between 2016–2020.
According to Gupte, Africa has the highest birth rate and the lowest-aged population. Compared to Europe and Asia, which are facing an aging population problem, Africa has a youthful population with a growing workforce as many African countries develop, supported by high birth rates of 30.9 per 1,000 people, compared to only 9.5 in Europe and 17.5 in Asia.
“Everyone Deserves the Benefits of a Modern Connected Life”
With 19 markets in Africa and the Middle East, MTN experienced growth in service revenue of R171.8 billion. “We are doing our part to really bridge the digital divide,” Gupte noted. Moreover, MTN is a partner of choice for Africa’s digital future and continuous development, with 400 billion Y’ello events, 105,000 km of proprietary fiber, 832 roaming partners and much more.
In addition, he mentioned that the African continent has a big market opportunity: the mobile data consumed by Africa is set to grow by five or six times; mobile data volumes in Africa are expected to increase sixfold by 2027. So, data connectivity is increasing, while 2G and 3G are sunsetting, 4G is growing (26 %) and 5G and VoLTE are rising.
Gupte also tackled the subject of wholesale mobility and fixed infrastructure with some key technology enablers for African MNOs and large organizations and ended his keynote with some solutions for how the company will grow. “We are putting our emphasis on leading the pack from the front in Africa.”