BY Phillip Isakpa.
Business leaders in Africa are betting on telecommunications, healthcare and tourism as sectors that will lead and post the biggest growth in the continent in the next five years.
But most of the executives say that the telecoms sector will by far be the biggest winners and lead growth sectors during the period.
Not only will it be the biggest, they also see it becoming the fastest growing industry on the continent on the back of improvements in internet connectivity, according to a research with business leaders conducted for World Mobiles.
According to the result of the survey, when asked to pick the three sectors that they believe will see the strongest growth over the next five years, three out of four (75%) senior executives selected telecoms in the study.
The sector was very much ahead of the healthcare sector, which emerged as the second choice after being selected by 61 percent of survey respondents as one of three industries that will see the strongest growth ahead of tourism at 44 percent.
Those interviewed for research were senior executives at companies with combined annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion and based in Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Identified as key to the growth being predicted is internet connectivity, which improvement is central to growth in the economy.
Improvement in internet connectivity was identified as central to growth in the economy and across all sectors.
Around two-thirds (66%) say it is important while 20 percent believe it is very important.
World Mobile is helping to revolutionise internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa and is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low altitude platform balloons.
It uses a blockchain-based technology which vastly reduces capital expenditure and cuts costs compared to traditional telecom operators. World Mobile is in discussions to expand in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators.
“The expansion of telecoms across the African continent is central to driving economic growth and senior business executives clearly agree as they rank it well ahead of other major sectors of the economy,” said Micky Watkins, CEO, World Mobile!
“To a great extent, growth in telecoms spurs growth in other sectors as societies become more digital and technology focused and that applies very much to financial services, healthcare, retail and education.” according to.
“Not all parts of Africa however have strong internet connectivity and we want to help by providing a service which is affordable and reliable and look forward to working with governments across the continent.”
World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, offering a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs.
The World Mobile approach is more sustainable, in environmental, social and governance terms. Environmental impacts are mitigated using solar-powered nodes, second-life batteries, and energy-efficient technology. World Mobile creates a positive societal impact through the application of its circular economy model – a “sharing economy” where locals share in the ownership and rewards of the network.