East Africa's mobile sector posts growth in 2023: industry report

  • World
  • Tuesday, 25 Jun 2024

NAIROBI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The mobile industry in East Africa is experiencing significant growth, with the average mobile penetration rate across the region reaching 100 percent by the end of 2023, a new industry report said Monday.

The East African Communication Organization (EACO) said in a report published in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that several countries in East Africa are experiencing particularly strong growth, with Uganda's mobile penetration rate increasing from 70 percent in 2021 to 81 percent in 2023.

"South Sudan also saw a significant increase, from 29 percent to 36 percent over the same period," said the report that covers Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

EACO noted that Kenya and Tanzania have the two highest mobile penetration rates in the region, at 129 percent and 113 percent, respectively in 2023 due to the situation of multiple SIM card ownership.

The findings indicate that Rwanda's mobile penetration rate stood at 94 percent in 2023, which represents a significant increase from 84 percent in 2021.

EACO said the East African region witnessed a significant surge in mobile money adoption in recent years as the average mobile money service penetration across East African countries reached 64 percent by the end of 2023, compared to 49 percent in 2021.

The report said Kenya maintained its lead in mobile money penetration, with a significant increase from 59 percent in 2021 to 75 percent in 2023.

"This growth can be attributed to the continued success of M-Pesa, a mobile money service launched in 2007 by Safaricom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya," it said.

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