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Insights from Thrive Asia Pacific 2020: Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities through Digital Solutions

The GSMA Thrive Asia Pacific 2020 event took place from 3 to 5 November 2020. The Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme hosted a session focused on ‘Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities through Digital Solutions’. This session featured a range of different ...

Container based sanitation alliance and Loowatt – digital tools for container-based sanitation providers

In the last decade, container-based sanitation (CBS) solutions have been emerging as a viable low-cost option for sanitation service delivery, particularly in low-income urban settlements where demand for sanitation services is high and on-site sanitation (i.e. septic tanks) ...

Insights from Thrive Africa 2020 – scaling digital utility solutions through partnerships

The GSMA Thrive Africa 2020 event took place from 29 September to 1 October 2020. The Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme hosted two sessions focused on ‘Digital Utility Solutions for the Urban Poor’ and ‘The Future of Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Partnerships’. These ...

VITALITE Zambia – learnings from providing pay-as-you-go smartphones through pay-as-you-go solar

The GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities programme has been working since 2013 to unlock new business models that leverage mobile technology to deliver affordable energy services in emerging markets. Over the last eight years the GSMA has supported the emergence of the ...

Electric Vine Industries – Powering remote communities with microgrids in Indonesia

Electric Vine Industries (EVI) is a private microgrid developer founded in Indonesia. In June 2018, EVI received a grant from the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Innovation Fund to integrate Linkaja’s mobile money service into EVI’s power metering payment ...

World Water Week 2020 At Home – Scaling Digital Innovations in Urban Water

World Water Week At Home was hosted virtually between 24 and 28 August 2020. The GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities team hosted a panel session focused on the topic of scaling digital innovations in the urban water sector in emerging markets. With the increasing ubiquity ...

Safe Water Network: Key lessons from digitalising Small Water Enterprise operations

Over 80 per cent of Ghanaians have access to an improved water source piped to their homes or within a 30-minute round trip, and this figure has been steadily improving in recent years. However, this means 20 per cent of the population, over 5 million people, are reliant on ...

Partnering to minimise electricity theft and line losses in Pakistan – Jazz, CISNR and PESCO

Jazz (VEON Group) is one of Pakistan’s leading mobile network operators with a 36.4 percent market share. Over the past few years, Jazz has invested in building intelligent systems to digitise electricity infrastructure and distribution in Pakistan. In May 2018, ...

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 ...