The Vice President of Chartered Global Investment Analysts (CGIA), Ghana Network, Isaac Charles Acquah, has stated that Africa’s position as the fastest-growing mobile telephony market in the world bodes well, as it will serve to propel countries on the continent to develop at a faster rate.
According to him, considering the rate at which the digital economy is growing compared to traditional economy, it will soon eclipse the latter’s contribution to GDP; as such, start-ups and well-established firms must invest in the digitisation of their operations.
Citing a study undertaken by Oxford Economics, which shows that mobile phone subscription in Africa grew by 20 percent from 2005 to 2017 – reaching 760 million subscribers, he argued that mobile phones offer valuable marketing channels in emerging markets that put consumers and businesses at centre-stage.
“The ever-changing global marketplace, fuelled by fast-growing economies and new technologies, has accelerated the speed of most business activities – from product development to customer response, real-time business intelligence and predictive analysis will be required not only for faster decision-making, but to cope with unexpected market risks and opportunities.
“Mobile technologies will have the greatest impact on businesses in the years ahead; therefore, firms must reorganise to embrace the digital economy,” he said.
Mr. Acquah made these statements in a presentation at a Business and Financial Journalist training programme organised by the CGIA.
Touching on innovations in the digital space which have been accelerated by mobile telephony, he mentioned: the emergence of digital banking, digital payment systems, electronic wallets (E-wallets), digital insurance services and cryptocurrencies as some of the trends business persons must observe keenly.
With trade barriers being a major challenge to intra-African trade, Mr. Acquah is of the view that the digital economy with its numerous advantages – including greater flow of information, reduced cost of doing business due to efficiency, lower entry barriers for operations and minimal use of physical infrastructure – trade across the continent will grow significantly.
Ghana has been listed as the country with the highest mobile penetration in West Africa, and already outperforms many of its regional peers with the adoption rate standing at 55 percent; more than 10 percentage points higher than the regional average of 44.8 percent. A situation that he indicated the country should capitalise on going into Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).