Investment and Collaboration Key to Sustaining Africa’s Digital Growth- MTN CEO

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Mtn Ceo

Africa is on the threshold of a digital revolution, poised to transform lives, economies, and how business is conducted across the continent.

In recent years, the growth of Africa’s digital and fintech sectors has been nothing short of remarkable. From mobile money to e-commerce, the continent is witnessing an era of unprecedented technological advancement.

This digital surge is not just a trend but a profound shift that promises to redefine the economic landscape.

Mobile money services have revolutionized financial inclusion, bringing banking to millions who were previously unbanked. E-commerce platforms are thriving, offering new opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers alike.

As Africa embraces this digital age, the potential for positive change is immense. Enhanced internet connectivity, innovative fintech solutions, and a growing digital-savvy population are driving this transformation.

The impact is already visible, with more people gaining access to financial services, new business models emerging, and economies becoming more interconnected.

The momentum is building, and Africa stands ready to harness the full power of the digital revolution, setting the stage for a future where technology drives sustainable development and inclusive growth.

The CEO of MTN Stephen Blewett, made known during the 2024 3i Africa Summit which was held in Accra under the theme: “theme “Unleashing Africa’s Fintech and Digital Economic Potential”.

He highlighted the remarkable growth in Africa’s digital landscape, noting that between 2019 and 2022, 160 million Africans gained broadband internet access.

This surge, alongside a 115% increase in internet users in Sub-Saharan Africa from 2016 to 2021, underscores the continent’s rapid technological advancement. He emphasized that Africa leads the world in mobile banking, with over 760 million accounts generating more than $830 billion in transactions annually.

Innovation as the Driving Force

Blewett described Africa’s fintech ecosystem as the engine propelling the continent’s digital revolution. He highlighted the success of services like MTN’s Mobile Money and Safaricom’s M-Pesa, which have revolutionized business and provided essential financial services to millions.

However, he also cited challenges such as low infrastructure coverage and digital skills gaps, particularly among vulnerable groups like women.

To overcome these obstacles, he called for concerted efforts to improve data coverage, lower the cost of data-enabled devices, and enhance digital literacy.

He urged leaders, innovators, and investors to collaborate on implementing solutions that create a sustainable and inclusive digital economy.

Investment: The Fuel for Transformation

Blewett stressed the importance of sustainable investments to drive Africa’s digital transformation.

He highlighted the need for substantial funding to expand broadband connectivity, with estimates suggesting that $100 billion is required to achieve universal, high-quality internet access by 2030.

Mobile operators in Sub-Saharan Africa are investing $6-$8 billion annually, nearly 20% of their revenues, to enhance infrastructure.

To attract more domestic and foreign investments, he called for balanced policies that promote innovation and investment.

He also called for the establishment of innovation hubs and digital sandboxes to nurture the next generation of African entrepreneurs and support the development of new products and services.

Impact: Creating Shared Value

Blewett underscored the need for Africa’s digital economy to generate positive social and environmental impacts.

He urged industry leaders to reduce carbon footprints by investing in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of meaningful social programs in healthcare, education, agriculture, and infrastructure, which align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

A Call to Action

The CEO of MTN Stephen Blewett emphasized that the success of Africa’s digital economy depends on collective efforts to drive innovation, attract investment, and create a positive impact.

He commended the Bank of Ghana, the Development Bank of Ghana, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore for organizing the summit and expressed hope for actionable outcomes and enduring partnerships.

Ghana, the host of the summit, was praised for its pivotal role in the fintech space. Blewett remarked on the country’s innovation, resilience, and significant contributions to Africa’s digital economy through financial inclusion.

The attendees were urged to focus on three key pillars: innovation, investment, and impact, to unleash Africa’s economic potential.

I Group Delegates

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