Mobile for Development Blog


Inclusion, Innovation and Scale: The focus of our new GSMA-DFID partnership

At the recent Mobile 360 Africa in Kigali, we announced a new £38 million partnership between the GSMA and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The ‘Partnership for Inclusion, Innovation and Scale’ will provide funding for the GSMA’s Mobile for ...

Meet our portfolio start-ups: AgroCenta, Ghana

Smallholder farmers in Ghana, while often poor and illiterate, face two main problems: lack of access to structured markets, which leaves them at the mercy of predatory brokers or middlemen who buy at exploitative prices, and lack of access to finance, which means they may ...

Rapid urbanisation, innovators to the rescue? Takeaways from Afric’Up

The GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team was excited to speak at the Afric’Up Tech and Start-Up summit on 24 and 25 September in Tunis, which focused on how innovative start-ups can address the challenges associated with rapid urbanisation across Africa. ...

Personal and technological connections coming together – Seedstars Apia

The third and final of three events, being held in the Pacific region by Seedstars, in partnership with the GSMA and supported by the Australian Government, began on 24 September in Apia, Samoa. As with the previous events, two days of start-up bootcamp was followed by a ...

The weather data gap: How can mobile technology make smallholder farmers climate resilient?

In the new GSMA AgriTech report, Mobile Technology for Climate Resilience: The role of mobile operators in bridging the data gap, we explore how mobile network operators (MNOs) can play a bigger role in developing and delivering services to strengthen the climate resilience ...

Mobile based voice biometric identity: an emerging technology that could assist vulnerable populations

Safaricom PLC officially launched the Jitambulishe (identify yourself) voice biometric (VB) service for its subscriber base. The service allows subscribers to access personalised self-service offerings by authenticating themselves via voice biometric recognition.

Mobile internet is a crucial component of digital societies

Mobile internet is changing lives and livelihoods around the world. It is a fundamental driver of our increasingly digital societies. Mobile internet provides the sole means of online access and engagement for millions of people globally, especially in low- and middle-income ...

Understanding the mobile disability gap in refugee contexts

The ubiquity, affordability and capability of mobile technology can make it a powerful tool in delivering life-changing products and services in many contexts, including during humanitarian crises. GSMA research demonstrates the degree to which people affected by crises are ...

Introducing the GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab: a testing ground for transformative digital innovations

In developed and developing markets alike, societies are becoming increasingly digital, and technological innovations are emerging at an ever increasing rate. The mobile money industry is now fast evolving against a backdrop of increased internet access and smartphone ...

Meet our portfolio start-ups: oDoc, Sri Lanka

According to the World Health Organization, there are fewer than 0.9 physicians per 1,000 people in Sri Lanka on average, making access to doctors and healthcare a serious issue. This ratio hides an even deeper disparity between urban and rural areas. Hospitals are often ...

The mobile gender gap in Asia: A region of rapid but unequal growth

The GSMA’s Mobile Gender Gap Report 2019 highlighted that there is a persistent mobile gender gap in low- and middle-income countries, where women are 10% less likely than men to own a mobile and 23% less likely to use mobile internet. The scale of the mobile gender gap ...

Innovation, inclusion, investment – identifying the key ingredients for SDG 6 at World Water Week

The GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Programme was pleased to join over 3,300 water and sanitation professionals from 130 countries at World Water Week in Stockholm from 25 – 30 August. We hosted a session on, ‘Scaling mobile-enabled water and sanitation models ...

It doesn’t need to be complicated – When simple tariff plans and affordable pricing for women works

Within three months of launching Offre Femme in August 2018, Orange Money Côte d’Ivoire had grown their base of female users of the service by a remarkable 84%. Women’s average revenue or spend also grew by 20%. What did Orange Money get so right to have such an impact?

Building the Assistive Tech programme – growing our engagement

“Without mobile phones, we would be in darkness.” Collected through our digital access gap research in Kenya and Bangladesh with our partner Altai, this quote from an older man with hearing impairment living in rural Kenya summarises well why we do what we do.

Looking ahead: Digital tools for natural resource management

While there is a growing body of evidence that digital technologies have the potential to improve natural resource management activities in developing countries, current efforts remain fragmented and largely un-tested.

Reflections on the 2019 GOGLA E-waste Festival

In July 2019, the GSMA attended GOGLA‘s ‘E-waste Festival’ in Nairobi, an event designed to bring the off-grid solar industry together to create new ideas, partnerships and projects related to e-waste.

Hello world!

The year 2019 has seen an unprecedented rise in awareness of the environmental challenges we are facing as humanity; a change that can be seen at the global, organisational, community and individual levels.

Lessons from Lumkani: Building resilience to fire in South Africa’s informal settlements

The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports a portfolio of 13 projects globally, each leveraging mobile technology to positively accelerate the digitisation of humanitarian assistance. Lumkani was one of the first projects to receive funding in Round 1, via the ...

A right to identity is a right to a future

The GSMA Digital Identity programme continues to play a key role in exploring, advocating and raising awareness of the opportunity for mobile to improve access to official identification and identity-linked services.

When ID works for women: initial findings from Sri Lanka

As part of the Commonwealth Digital Identity Initiative, Caribou Digital conducted interviews during fieldwork in Colombo and its outskirts to explore the role of ID for women and work.