- It is predicted that Nigeria, which is Africa's most populated country, is set to lead mobile phone market in the continent in 2007, surpassing South Africa. Also, the Nigerian mobile subscriptions will exceed 30 million at the end of 2006.
At the moment, South Africa - Africa's giant economy - leads the mobile market in the continent. Its mobile - or cell phone, as they are called in South Africa - subscriptions are expected to shoot up to 35 million by the year's end.
These predictions were disclosed by Informa Telecoms & Media's World Cellular Information Service, which is a searchable online database that provides constantly updated sources of research on the wireless industry worldwide. The body also provides business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets.
According to the database, it is also predicted that there will be 44 million mobile phone users in Nigeria by the end of 2007 compared to 40 million estimated users in South Africa, meaning that Nigeria will take on the African lead sometimes next year.
Going by the current statistics, Nigeria - that currently account for 14 percent of Africa's total mobile users - is expected to increase the number of users by 5 percent before the year ends. In addition, the country is expected to add 13 million subscriptions totally over the year 2006, which increases the subscriptions to 44 percent.
The reason for Nigeria still to lag after South Africa is that there still is a low percentage of Nigerians using a mobile phone. "With an estimated 130 million inhabitants, Nigeria is Africa's most populated country. Despite a high yearly growth (181 percent over 2004 and 96 percent over 2005), the country's penetration rate was still at 19 percent in September 2006 compared to 77 percent in South Africa at the same period," explained Informa Telecoms and Media principal analyst, Devine Kofiloto.
Currently, Nigeria is a very competitive market with four GSM players and five CDMA networks actively involved in the mobile field.
And as of September 2006, Informa Telecoms maintained, Nigeria counted 25 million mobile users, with MTN leading the market as it held a 41 percent share. Globacom and Celtel respectively controlled 29 percent and 24 percent of the market, while M-Tel was at 4 percent. Of all mobile users in Nigeria, the five CDMA networks represented only 2 percent.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.