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West Africa: Has the growth potential been tapped for pay-as-you-go utilities?

Last month, I travelled to five different countries in West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Benin) to support partnerships between pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems (SHSs) and other utility providers and the mobile industry. An important way ...

Re-imagining solar distribution: The Fenix International – Musanga Logistics partnership

Last-mile delivery is often one of the most complicated steps in the logistics process, particularly for hardware companies with potential or actual customers in remote areas of emerging markets. This layer of complexity, which also exists in the solar energy supply chain, ...

Oxford Business & Poverty Conference: Why market-creating innovations are critical in the fight against poverty

On Wednesday, 29 May, the Mobile for Development Utilities team was pleased to attend the fifth annual Business & Poverty conference at Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. The conference brought together a range of innovation scholars and practitioners ...

African Utility Week: The role of digital solutions in driving energy for the future

African Utility Week, like our GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Programme, has the unique and exciting role of bringing together the energy, water and sanitation industries, including both on- and off-grid service providers. So naturally, we were excited to ...

Mini-grids, macro impact?

Lacking access to electricty is one of the biggest barriers to structural transformation and private sector development in emerging markets. Of course, there is no silver bullet to extending electricity access, especially given the complex and highly unequal energy landscape ...

What does rapid urbanisation mean for utility service provision? Our takeaways from the AfricaWorks! conference

On 8 and 9 April 2019, the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities team was thrilled to co-host a workshop on ‘Digital and IT for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)’ at the AfricaWorks! conference on the future of African cities, in Rotterdam. AfricaWorks! is the flagship ...

Supporting waterless flush sanitation through mobile technology – Loowatt

Access to basic sanitation services is a major development and public health challenge in Madagascar where only 10 per cent of the population use at least basic sanitation services[1]. Providing basic sanitation is particularly challenging in Madagascar’s capital, ...

Delivering water to urban homes through smart metering and mobile payments – CityTaps

Water supply disconnections due to non-payment or faulty meters is a common issue for urban residents of Niamey, Niger[1]. Meanwhile, Niger’s national water utility faces challenges serving the poor with affordable and clean running water, while also reducing the physical ...

Accelerating clean energy innovations in Africa – our takeaways from the ‘Transforming Energy Access’ conference

This blog post has been co-authored with Nicolas Snel, Senior Insights Manager, Mobile for Development Utilities. On 7 March 2019, the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team was invited to participate in the conference, ‘Transforming Energy Access: Innovations ...

Faecal Sludge Management and AfricaSan conferences: Addressing Africa’s sanitation challenge

Though the event was explicitly Africa-focused, around 1,200 sanitation practitioners from all over the world joined the fifth conference for Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) in Cape Town on 18 – 22 February. This year the FSM conference was jointly conducted with ...

Digital payments in water: Findings from two new research projects

In the second half of 2018, the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) collaborated to explore the opportunities and challenges in offering digital payments in the water sector. In addition, the M4D ...

What does Intelligent Connectivity mean for utilities in emerging markets? Our takeaways from MWC Barcelona and 4YFN 2019

From Monday, 25 – Wednesday, 28 February, the Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team participated in Mobile World Congress 2019 (#MWC19) in Barcelona. This year’s overarching theme, ‘Intelligent Connectivity’, aimed to mark the beginning of a new era of highly ...

International Women’s Day: Meet eight start-up founders from our portfolios

As Friday, 8 March marks International Women’s Day – the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities and Ecosystem Accelerator teams are collaborating to celebrate the achievements of some of the female leaders within our respective Innovation Fund current and past portfolios, by ...

Intelligent Utilities for All

This blog is the foreword, written by Mats Granryd, our Director General, from the latest edition of our GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Annual Report, covering sector trends, the work of the M4D Utilities Innovation Fund grantees and that of the programme, since ...

Sharing three key learnings from our Asia Industry Forum

In the last week of January, our team gathered in Colombo to host the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme’s Asia Industry Forum. The forum brought together actors from the mobile, energy, water and sanitation sectors that are striving to improve access to ...

Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities – meet us at MWC Barcelona 2019!

The biggest annual event in the mobile industry is less than three weeks away. Join the Mobile for Development Utilities team from 25 to 28 February at MWC Barcelona 2019! To help you navigate our activities during this packed week, we thought we’d put together a short blog ...

Towards smart sustainable sanitation for all: Our three takeaways from the Toilet Board Coalition’s annual gathering

On 16 and 17 January, the Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team was invited to attend the annual gathering of the Toilet Board Coalition in Geneva. The gathering brought together a wide-range of leading sanitation sector stakeholders from the private sector (large ...

Mobile money transaction fees and utility bill payments in emerging markets

According to the GSMA 2017 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, Sub-Saharan Africa alone has 135 live mobile money services processing $19.9 billion transactions in value per year. The growth and increased sophistication of mobile money ecosystems across the globe ...

Bringing the mobile and utilities sectors together in Asia

Heading into our sixth year at the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme, we’re pushing harder to support partnerships between the mobile industry and utility service partners in Asia. Since the beginning of our programme, we’ve seen more partnerships in ...

Four takeaways from Unlocking Solar Capital Africa

It was great to be back at the Kigali Convention Centre for GOGLA and Solar Plaza’s Unlocking Solar Capital Africa event on 7 – 8 November 2018, just a few months after the GSMA held its Mobile 360 – Africa event there. It was the perfect setting to consider what ...