- GSMA underscores the persistent challenge faced by manufacturers in the region, striving to produce devices at affordable price points, especially in the 5G and 4G markets, where the high costs pose a significant barrier for many consumers in the region
According to the ‘The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa (2023)’ report by GSMA, taxation and duty fees contribute significantly, ranging from 10 to 30 percent, to the overall cost of smartphones across African countries. This financial burden has notably impacted the affordability of devices for the majority of people within the region.
The report emphasizes that besides taxation, manufacturing costs also play a pivotal role in escalating device prices, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, hindering accessibility for a large part of the population.
GSMA underscores the persistent challenge faced by manufacturers in the region, striving to produce devices at affordable price points, especially in the 5G and 4G markets, where the high costs pose a significant barrier for many consumers in the region.
It said, “The challenge for manufacturers in Sub-Saharan Africa is to produce devices at a low enough price point to gain market share, particularly in the 5G and 4G markets, where devices remain prohibitively expensive for most regional consumers.
“Along with the manufacturing costs, other costs, such as fees and taxation directly impact the final selling price. As per GSMA Intelligence research, taxation and duty fees add 10–30 per cent to smartphone costs, depending on the country.”
It added that smartphone affordability continued to be a key barrier to mobile Internet usage in the region.
About 60 per cent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa do not use mobile internet despite living in areas with coverage.
The telcos association noted that to help address the issue, operators and manufacturers had devised solutions targeting the cost of devices with the average selling price of smartphones, having reduced significantly in recent years.
He noted that this was especially due to an influx of devices priced under $100, mainly from Chinese brands such as Tecno, Itel, and Infinix.