In sub-Saharan Africa, e-money transactions rose by 14.4% in 2017

Mar 12, 2018 | Ecofin Agency

In sub-Saharan Africa, the overall amount of mobile money transactions reached $19.9 billion in 2017, up by 14.4% from the volume of transactions in 2016. This is revealed in a report from the World Association of Mobile Operators (GSMA).

However, the report titled “State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money”, indicated that this figure conceals large disparities between sub-regions. East Africa remains the mobile money industry’s driver in sub-Saharan Africa, with $13.2 billion in transactions over the past year (+ 10.5% compared to 2016), ahead of West Africa, which recorded $5.3 billion in transactions (+ 15.2%). Central Africa follows with $1.2 billion (+ 72.6% compared to 2016) and Southern Africa with $123.4 million (+ 17.9%).

At the end of 2016, there were 338 million mobile money accounts registered in sub-Saharan Africa: 56.4% in East Africa; 30.9% in West Africa; 9.7% in Central Africa and 3% in Southern Africa.

Worldwide, the mobile money industry handled $1 billion per day last year and generated more than $2.4 billion, up by 34% compared to the volume in 2016.

Mobile money is now available in 90 countries across the world, with a total of 690 million registered accounts (+ 25% compared to 2016).

The report also pointed out that mobile money has significantly reduced the cost of transfers made by migrants.

Mobile phone-made transfers are now 50% cheaper than those made through companies specialized in remittances. Source: Ecofin Agency