The Global System for Mobile Telecommunication Association (GSMA) underscored the detrimental effects of taxation on smartphone adoption in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to their report, taxes and duties contribute to the increased costs of smartphones in the region, hindering accessibility for a substantial portion of the population.
In a statement from the report, GSMA emphasized the impact of high manufacturing costs, particularly in the 5G and 4G markets, limiting the production of affordable devices and thereby constraining market share across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Speaking on this issue, a representative from GSMA stated, “The imposition of taxes and duties has created a significant barrier to smartphone accessibility, especially in regions where affordability remains a challenge. This has resulted in a substantial portion of Africa’s population being unable to access mobile internet despite coverage.”
The report did, however, highlight positive strides in reducing smartphone prices, citing collaborative efforts between operators and manufacturers. These partnerships have led to the introduction of more affordable devices, particularly those priced under $100, from brands such as Tecno, Itel, and Infinix, significantly enhancing accessibility.
“Cooperation between operators and manufacturers has proven instrumental in managing costs and offering financing options to customers,” commented the GSMA representative. “These initiatives contribute to ongoing efforts aimed at increasing digital penetration and accessibility in the region.”
The GSMA report’s findings shed light on the necessity for continued collaboration and innovative solutions to overcome the challenges posed by taxation and manufacturing costs, ultimately ensuring wider access to smartphones and mobile internet across Africa.