Originally published by MobileBusinessBriefing.

New research has claimed that the mobile industry could create almost 15 million new jobs in sub-Saharan Africa between 2015 and 2020.

The new GSMA-commissioned research by Deloitte claims that the 14.9 million new jobs in six key sub-Saharan markets (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania) could help generate an additional US$33.6 billion in regional GDP during the period – but is dependent on “the necessary spectrum allocations and transparent regulation”.

Mobile connections in the region have been growing at 44 percent (CAGR) since 2000 and now stand at 475 million, compared to just 12.3 million fixed-line connections. This is said to be the highest proportion of mobile versus fixed-line in the world.

The research claims that the mobile industry directly contributes US$32 billion to the sub-Saharan African economy, accounting for 4.4 percent of GDP. Approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs are attributed to the sector.

However, the report warns that the region faces a looming “capacity and coverage crunch” in terms of available mobile spectrum. It also flagged the “high levels of government taxation and new regulation [that] threaten to limit the growth of mobile services across the region.”

“Tackling stifling regulation, addressing high taxation and implementing a harmonised approach to future spectrum allocation will further boost the success story of mobile across the continent,” said the GSMA’s Tom Phillips.