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Improving utility services through partnerships and digitisation: Learnings from our Mobile Operator Roundtable

On 15 July, ahead of the GSMA’s Mobile 360 – Africa event in Kigali, the Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme hosted a roundtable with over 20 participants representing 10 organisations, including mobile operators and utility providers of energy, water and ...

Exploring the incredible growth of the Cameroonian entrepreneurship ecosystem

During the last week of July, Peter Ndichu from the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator team was in Cameroon to provide further support to GiftedMom, one of the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund start-ups, and to reflect on the progress made since we first funded them back in ...

Are mobile operators under-investing in rural coverage in emerging markets?

There is a common belief that the lack of rural network coverage in emerging markets is the result of under-investment by mobile network operators (MNOs). But is this actually the case? In this blog post, I look at how the GSMA is trying to answer these questions using ...

1Service: Digitising bill payments for piped water users in peri-urban Bangladesh

With an area of 32 square kilometres and population of 153,000, Satkhira Municipality is one of the oldest local government institutions in the Southern part of Bangladesh, established in 1869. Situated in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, the southwest coastal region of ...

Meet our portfolio start-ups: Kea Medicals, Benin

The current status of the African health environment reveals a disconnect between hospitals and doctors regarding the medical history of the patients. Physicians are struggling to provide care, or to act promptly, due to an information deficit and in some cases they need to ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Mobile-enabled utilities

This blog post is the fourth of a five-part blog series unpacking the findings from our latest report, ‘The digital lives of refugees: How displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way.’ In humanitarian contexts, many people lack access to reliable energy ...

Building partnerships to achieve digitisation at scale in tea value chains

As part of our activities at Mobile 360 – Africa 2019, the GSMA AgriTech team, together with agriculture-sector stakeholders including mobile operators, AgriTech companies, financial institutions, donors and agribusinesses from eight countries across sub-Saharan Africa ...

A spotlight on Libra – Part I: Assessing the true potential of Libra’s financial inclusion objectives

In June 2019, Facebook announced the launch of Libra, a digital currency based on a new decentralised blockchain, backed by a reserve of real fiat currencies guaranteeing built-in low volatility. In this first blog of a series exploring Libra, we will assess Libra’s ...

Six months into Round 3: Updates from the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

Back in November 2018, the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator programme revealed its third Innovation Fund start-up cohort consisting of 11 start-ups from across Asia Pacific and Africa. These start-ups recently crossed the six-month mark with the Ecosystem Accelerator programme and ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Digital Identity

This blog post is the third of a five-part blog series unpacking the findings from our latest report, ‘The digital lives of refugees: How displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way.’ The ability to prove your identity is an essential part of accessing ...

Takeaways from Mobile 360 – Africa 2019: Mobile innovation and inclusive partnerships are unlocking digital dividends

The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator and portfolio start-up teams attended and participated in the Mobile 360 – Africa event from 16 – 18 July in Kigali, Rwanda. This year’s event attracted mobile operators, government officials, regulators, start-ups, donors, NGOs and ...

Benin’s tech ecosystem: Driving inclusive innovation through partnerships

The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator team, represented by Peter Ndichu and Max Cuvellier, was in Cotonou, Benin in mid-June 2019, firstly for a market visit to our local portfolio start-up, Kea Medicals, secondly to meet with stakeholders in the local entrepreneurship ecosystem ...

The GSMA Mobile Money Certification: a global tool to counter “de-risking”

At both the macro and micro level, the social and economic impact of international remittances in developing countries is well documented. In 2018, the value of global remittance flows increased to $689 billion, of which $529 billion was to developing countries. In 2019, ...

Highlights from the 2019 Mobile Money Leadership Forum

The GSMA Mobile Money team were delighted to return to Kigali, Rwanda’s bustling capital, for the 2019 Mobile 360 – Africa event, which convened a record-breaking 1000 delegates from 59 countries. Mobile money and financial inclusion were prominent themes throughout the ...

Mobile operator and start-up collaboration in emerging markets: A landscape of current and past initiatives

Today in emerging markets, more than anywhere else, there are opportunities for mobile operators and start-ups to collaborate. Mobile operators have reached the scale that start-ups lack, while start-ups have the local innovation that mobile operators need. Back in 2016, the ...

Digital agriculture in Kenya: How is it enabling financial inclusion for farmers?

Kenya’s agriculture sector is crucial to the country’s economy and its people’s livelihoods. Agriculture accounts for 31.5 per cent of GDP and employs 38 per cent of the population. Over the last few years, the country has seen the emergence of digital tools that aim to ...

Showcasing Pacific innovation through start-up competition in Papua New Guinea – Seedstars Port Moresby

The first of three events, being held in the Pacific region by Seedstars, in partnership with the GSMA and supported by the Australian Government, began on 16 July in Port Moresby, Papua new Guinea. There were two days of a bootcamp for local start-ups, followed by a ...

Realising the full benefit of mobile for women in Africa

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 mobile gender gap varies by region ...

The Digital Lives of Refugees: Mobile financial services

This blog post is the second of a five-part blog series unpacking the findings from our latest report, ‘The digital lives of refugees: How displaced populations use mobile phones and what gets in the way.’ Mobile money is available in 90 countries across the globe, including ...

Seeking two US-based partner organizations!

To date, M4D has impacted the lives of over 58 million people. This work has primarily taken place in countries considered to be ‘developing’, however, we have recently widened our scope to look at using digital technology addressing inequality in all global contexts. We are ...