The mobile telecommunications industry has experienced rapid and widespread growth in sub-Saharan Africa, with many positive impacts on women’s economic empowerment. These benefits include increased connectivity and access to goods, services, and information. However, women still face significant challenges to fully participate in and benefit from the industry. As the industry continues to expand, mobile telecommunications companies are recognizing that they can do more.
This brief provides an overview of the mobile telecommunications industry’s role in sub-Saharan Africa and shares key findings on the impact of the industry on women in the region, as well as key challenges women face in economic advancement as direct employees, participants in the value chain (including direct suppliers, distributors, entrepreneurs, and customers), and community members. It also provides specific recommendations for mobile telecommunications companies to advance women’s economic empowerment. This brief was developed alongside the BSR report “Women’s Economic Empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Recommendations for Business Action,” which seeks to mobilize greater private-sector action to enhance women’s economic empowerment in the region.