Tech Transformations for 2016 and Beyond

As we head into 2016, Facebook IQ wanted to explore technology’s transformative role in our everyday lives. Explore our second of 5 discoveries.

Mobile_Empowerment_GIFAs underserved populations in emerging markets gain access to the Internet for the first time—notably through mobile devices—they are discovering the benefits of economic, entrepreneurial, educational and other opportunities previously unavailable. In 2014, the mobile industry contributed 5.7% to overall gross domestic product (GDP) in Sub-Saharan Africa, and this is forecast to increase to 8.2% by 2020.1

But gaining mobile Internet access has benefits beyond basic services and pressing social challenges like healthcare, education and poverty—it also opens new avenues for social connection, idea sharing and entertainment.

In the Real World

Now armed with a mobile phone, underserved populations in emerging markets are starting mobile-first businesses, connecting to medical services that are miles away and discussing politics with people on the other side of the world via Facebook and Instagram. Entrepreneurial and social spirits are flourishing as people are devising innovative solutions to underdeveloped infrastructure and connecting with others to share their world views.


Fuel the mobile gateway

There will be 525 million smartphone connections in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020.2  Help fuel mobile empowerment by providing access to information, services and tools previously inaccessible to emerging markets and underserved populations as they come online for the first time.


Download the Mobile Empowerment PDF here.


1 “The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa 2015” by GSMA, Oct 2015.
2 “The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa 2014” by GSMA, Nov 2014.