A survey conducted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has shown that the number of mobile subscriptions across Africa have increased at an annual average of 65% over the past five years, representing twice the world average. The study from the Geneva-based association also ranked Nigeria as the continent’s fastest growing market, in contrast to countries such as war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Burundi, where little or no significant growth has been recorded.
According to the ITU, 13 million Africans purchased mobile handsets for the first time in 2003. It said the main drivers for the rapid growth were the launch of pre-paid subscription options and the dearth of reliable fixed line alternatives. At the end of 2003 Africa was home to just 25 million landlines, according to the ITU.