Mobile for Development Blog

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Identity and the Urban Poor

Despite a shortage of urban-rural disaggregated data on national identity coverage, evidence from most countries suggests that access to identity is generally highest in more developed urban areas, and lowest in rural locations. Our own on-the-ground research – which now ...

The era of pink mobile phones is over: How Dialog Sri Lanka is making mobile internet relevant for women

Mobile services and applications are sometimes criticised for focusing on men’s priorities and paying too little attention to women’s needs; for example, safe access to public internet facilities, private access to information on reproductive health, and protection from ...

The Ecosystem Accelerator annual bootcamp, MWC and 4YFN summarised in four insights

Between 21 and 28 February 2019, the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator programme ran its annual portfolio start-up bootcamp, and participated in MWC and 4YFN in Barcelona, Spain. The week was packed with unique insights and our portfolio start-ups had unparalleled opportunities to ...

Sizing the mobile gender gap in refugee contexts

GSMA research has repeatedly demonstrated that women are less likely than men to own a phone and to access mobile internet. The GSMA 2019 Mobile Gender Gap report demonstrates that women in low-and middle-income countries are 10 per cent less likely than men to own a phone ...

“Accessibility”: How mobile operators can improve the accessibility of their services for women to help close the mobile gender gap

This is one of a series of blogs that deep dives into our framework to help mobile operators close the gender gap in their customer base. This blog focuses on one of the five themes that we believe mobile operators should focus on to address the most common barriers ...

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 ...

An analysis of the Mobile Money Regulatory Index

In September 2018 we launched the Mobile Money Regulatory Index, an interactive tool that measures the effectiveness of mobile money regulatory frameworks. Today, we are pleased to release a paper that provides a deep analysis on the findings of the Mobile Money Regulatory ...

Presenting GSMA’s latest tool for value chain analysis in agriculture

In the past year, the GSMA has supported six mobile money providers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to design and develop holistic digital solutions centred round the digitisation of agricultural payments that an agribusiness makes to farmers for the procurement of ...

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 ...

Meet our portfolio start-ups: Sehat Kahani, Pakistan

Pakistan faces a multitude of challenges in its healthcare sector. The country ranked 154 among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare, lagging behind its South Asian counterparts Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Fifty per cent of Pakistan’s ...

Cellcard Cambodia: Innovations in Rural Coverage

Rolling out mobile coverage in rural areas is expensive, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Most of the key costs operators face in expanding their network – building and maintaining a cell site, powering it and connecting it to the wider network – are ...

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 ...

How can mobile money providers leverage online marketplaces to embrace the ‘payments as a platform’ approach?

The mobile money industry is on the cusp of a fundamental change. Having successfully offered and scaled payments (with 272 deployments, 866 million registered customers globally, and processing over $1.3 billion dollars a day), mobile money providers are now in a position ...

Economic ID for farmers: a practical solution for cocoa farmers

In this blog, we introduce Kojo. Kojo is an archetypal smallholder cocoa farmer in Ghana, representing well over 800,000 cocoa farming families in the country.

Do Mobile Connections Improve Women’s Lives?

As International Women’s Day approaches this Friday, a new research study by GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, and Gallup, reveals that bridging the mobile and internet gender gap may help boost women’s wellbeing across the developing world. ...

3 lessons learnt from #M4HInnovationFund due diligence in Africa

In late 2018, the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) Fund team undertook due diligence visits with shortlisted applicants. The independent Fund Panel has since made its selection and grantees will be publicised mid-year. Ahead of this, the team has taken some time ...

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 ...

Our takeaways from Africa Tech Summit Kigali

In February, the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator had a chance to participate in the second edition of Africa Tech Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. The event took place between 13th and 15th of February and brought together several stakeholders including start-ups, mobile operators, ...

The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2019

As we move to the next generation of mobile technology, we must not forget the millions of women who still lack basic connectivity. Last week the mobile industry convened in Barcelona for MWC 2019, showcasing the newest innovations in mobile technology and intelligent ...

Learning first-hand how farmers experience last mile digitisation: Ghana Field Focus Week lessons, part one

The month of January at GSMA is the time when we embark on the immersive learning journey that we call Field Focus Week. Together with our MNO members and agricultural sector stakeholders – agribusinesses, AgTech and financial providers – we travel into rural regions ...