Mobile for Development Blog

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Mobile operators get significant value from pay-as-you-go solar – what’s next for these partnerships?

It’s easy to assume that pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar has great value for mobile operators as customers use mobile money for regular payments, and can more easily keep their phones charged. But we need to quantifythis value in order to really understand why and how ...

Uduma: Key learnings from deploying PAYG digital water pumps in Burkina Faso and Mali

In 2000, 51 per cent of the rural population in Burkina Faso had access to a basic water service. However, by 2017, this figure had plummeted to 35 per cent, leaving 10.5 million rural Burkinabés behind. Uduma belongs to the ODIAL solutions group along with Vergnet Hydro (a ...

Gham Power: Lessons learned from The Rural Electrification Micro-grid Project in Nepal

This is a guest blog, written by Bishwaraj Bhattarai, the Project Manager at Gham Power and whom leads the Off-Grid Bazaar project. Founded in Nepal in 2010, Gham Power develops solar micro-grids and commercial off-grid systems in developing countries. It focuses on ...

Digital solutions to COVID-19 and urban challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa

On 21 May, Judd Devermont, the director for the Africa Programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) moderated a discussion on ‘Digital Solutions to COVID-19 and Urban Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa’ featuring Max Cuvellier, Head of ...

An effective response to COVID-19 requires innovative water and sanitation services

As Indian novelist and critic, Arundhati Roy, has reminded us so eloquently in the Financial Times: “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the ...

CityTaps: Delivering safe water to the urban poor through prepaid smart metering and mobile money

Globally, nearly a billion people living in urban areas lack access to running water at home. Cash-strapped water utilities struggle to serve these people while grappling with poor revenue collection efficiency, high water losses and billing inaccuracies. The urban poor ...

1Service: Digitising water bills in Bangladesh

Practical Action is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that leverages technology to challenge poverty in developing countries around the world. Through technology, Practical Action enables the sustainable development of practical solutions, innovative skills and knowledge ...

Global Off-grid Solar Forum and Expo: Heading toward the “Pay-as-you-go utopia”?

Last week, our team was immersed in the Global Off-grid Solar Forum and Expo, hosted by GOGLA and the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program, in Nairobi. The event brought me back to 2016 when our Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme held a session at the ...

The value of PAYG solar for mobile operators: A look at Benin

Benin is a relatively new market for the Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Solar home system (SHS) industry, but growth has been strong in recent years. According to GOGLA, West Africa as a whole has been a key growth market for PAYG solar providers, “In the first half of 2019, sales [of ...

Circle Gas has acquired clean cooking PAYG technology and are launching it in Kenya

In January 2020, Circle Gas Limited, acquired KOPAGAS’s technology in a transaction worth $25 million. The acquisition, thought to be the largest ever pure private equity investments in the clean cooking technology sector, gives Circle Gas access to KOPAGAS’s trademarked ...

Kampala Capital City Authority – Unlocking the power of mobile-enabled Sanitation

According to Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) sanitation mapping data from 2017, out of the 1.5 million people that live in Kampala, 94% are not connected to sewer lines for transporting waste away from their residences, as a consequence, they must rely on-site ...

Partnerships are key to scaling sustainable sanitation solutions – Highlights from The Global Sanitation Economy Summit 2019

The Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team, represented by Radhika Sarin, was in Pune to attend the Global Sanitation Economy Summit last month. The Summit brought together 400 participants including sanitation businesses, investors, development agencies, government and ...

Seeking sustainable solutions for water and sanitation in emerging economies

The GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Programme was pleased to join over 3000 water and sanitation sector professionals from 90 countries at the bi-annual IWA Water and Development Congress and Exhibition, which was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 1 – 5 December. ...

Making the connection between mobile money and climate change

Climate change has rapidly become a concern for central banks, financial regulators, and ministries of finance. In September 2017, AFI member institutions formulated the Sharm El Sheikh Accord on Financial Inclusion, Climate Change and Green Finance, which sets commitments ...

Effective sales strategies for tech start-ups in emerging markets

Scaling a start-up can certainly be challenging in emerging markets. It requires a thoughtfully developed sales process, intentionally recruited salespeople, and effective training and leadership to support them. Challenges with hitting sales targets are often repercussions ...

Streamlining the complexity of urban sanitation with digital solutions

This blog concludes a blog series leading up to World Toilet Day (today!). The first blog of the series focused on highlighting the challenge of sanitation service provision in developing countries, and the potential of mobile-enabled solutions to help bridge the gap. The ...

Sanergy: Using mobile to unlock circular economy approaches to sanitation in Nairobi

This blog is part of a series leading up to World Toilet Day taking place on the 19th of November. The series will feature innovative business models leveraging digital solutions to improve sanitation services and draw learnings from the five sanitation service providers ...

Can mobile help solve the sanitation challenge?

This blog is the first in a series leading up to World Toilet Day, which is 19 November. In the series, we will zoom in on innovative business models leveraging digital solutions along the sanitation value chain and feature learnings from the five sanitation service ...

The GSMA’s Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub is transitioning to the industry

The GSMA created the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub as an industry utility to enable pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar providers, and other pre-paid utility service providers (e.g. energy, water and sanitation), to integrate more easily with mobile money operators across ...

Enabling partnerships between mobile operators and utility service providers in Asia Pacific

On 25 September, the Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Programme hosted a Mobile Operator Roundtable alongside the GSMA Mobile 360 – Digital Societies event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With participation from ten mobile operators and 3 utility service providers, the key ...