9 November 2009

Report forecasts more mobile competition in Africa

By Andualem Sisay in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

There will be more competition in mobile markets across Africa while many mobile operators will be vulnerable to acquisition over the next five years, forecasts a new report.

Even though many late entrants struggle to establish a sustainable business where three or more networks are already in operation, the mobile market growth continues in the regions as new licenses will be made in Africa, according to the report prepared by Pyramid Research.

The average number of operators per country has increased from 2.68 to 3.73 between 2005 and 2009, and some markets have seen even more dramatic increases. In Tanzania, for instance, Dovetel in June 2009 became the seventh mobile carrier that is operational in the country; an eighth may appear during 2010.

Africa falling behind in broadband access

Andualem Sisay, Addia Ababa, Ethiopia

While mobile penetration has grown in Africa more than in any other region in the world, broadband internet connection is getting worse, jeopardizing its development, says a new UN report launched on the 22nd of October.

To make things worse, there is also a "broadband price divide"- the cost of using fixed broadband tends to be the highest in low-income countries, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD's) publication entitled, 'Information Economy Report 2009'.

Most African nations are failing to keep up with global trends in the use of broadband internet, which is critical for meeting many economic and social development objectives.

Of the 20 countries with the world's most expensive broadband access fees, 14 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Even within Africa, the price gap is huge. While monthly access to broadband services cost on average more than 1,300 USD in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Swaziland, subscribers need to pay less than 13 USD in Egypt and Tunisia. The reason for poor broadband connectivity in Africa is partly due to the lack of fixed telecommunications infrastructure, according to the report.

Africa Finance & Investment Forum 2009

n collaboration with EMRC the Africa Finance & Investment Forum 2009 will be held in December.
13-15 December - Amsterdam, Netherlands
AMRO Congress Center, Amsterdam

This event will feature:
- matchmaking service that will allow delegates with shared interests to network in One-on-One business meetings.
- Between 250-300 professionals expected from Africa, Europe, America and Asia.
- The EMRC Project Incubator Award for innovative African projects will be presented on Monday evening, 14th of December.

KLM Club Africa members receive a € 250 reduction on participation fee!