On Thursday, October 19, at the Mobile World Congress in Kigali, leaders in the industry focused on the significant influence that mobile money adoption has on social fairness, poverty alleviation, and economic development in Africa.

According to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association’s (GSMA) 2023 study, the number of registered mobile money users increased eightfold, from 200 million to 1.6 billion, between 2013 and 2022. It was emphasized that the majority of this expansion occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in East and West Africa.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, roughly one-third of adult consumers had mobile money access to a financial institution by 2021.

The value of mobile money transactions has increased in tandem with its growth. An industry valued at $100 billion in 2013 grew to an astounding $1.26 trillion by 2022. In 2022, this would equate to around $2.4 million being transferred per minute.

“I’ve been up here speaking for approximately two minutes, so since I started, there have been about $5 million in mobile money transactions. Ashley Olson Onyango, Head of Financial Inclusion and AgriTech at GSMA, a global organization uniting the mobile ecosystem to find, develop, and deliver innovation that helps business and society thrive, said, “It’s quite remarkable, and the numbers are probably even higher today in 2023.”

Although there is evidence linking financial inclusion to economic growth, little is known about the impact of digital financial inclusion, particularly when it comes to mobile money. In order to fill this knowledge vacuum, GSMA Intelligence Principal Economist Kalvin Bahia evaluated the effect of mobile money on GDP using a comprehensive dataset that covered ten years.

As of 2022,

These numbers highlight how mobile money can help developing nations make great strides through the quick development of technology, fostering economic expansion even in the lack of a strong physical infrastructure.

While mobile payments are becoming more and more popular, a number of issues need to be resolved before they can be widely used. The adoption of mobile payments is contingent upon a combination of technological progress and demographic variables.

Compared to East and West Africa, Central Africa is lagging behind in the use of mobile money accounts.

“Western Africa has about 300 million clients with accounts, compared to East Africa’s 400 million, which adds to what I call the local financial ecosystem. However, with only 65 million, Central Africa trails behind,” said Anne Catherine Tchokonte, CEO of Orange Money In Cameroon.


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