Mobile for Development Blog


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 population is deprived of basic healthcare facilities and about one per cent of the […]

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 all higher in less densely populated, less developed areas. In recent […]

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 contextualised and personalised experiences centring around eight core themes (Connectivity, AI, Industry 4.0, Immersive Content, […]

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 to offer themselves as a ‘platform’ to other providers of products and services, […]

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. The forthcoming study, to be published in April 2019, examines the relationship between mobile […]

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 to reflect on what we learnt. Round 2 was exceptionally competitive and we saw […]

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 asking them to answer one question each. Through the power of mobile technology, these […]

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, other corporates in the ICT space, government representatives, and investors among others. As usual, […]

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 connectivity. But during the excitement of 5G network launches, AI and virtual […]

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

The month of January at GSMA mAgri 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 to experience initiatives to digitise agricultural value chains. This year […]

Electrifying Kakuma Refugee Camp – the case for pay-as-you-go solar home systems

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar is a flagship example of how mobile technology can help make clean energy affordable for low-income populations, while also creating sustainable business models. It has seen impressive growth in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia in the last five years, with over two million solar home systems (SHSs) sold on a PAYG basis by […]

Intelligent Utilities for All

This blog is the foreword, written by Mats Granryd, our Director General, from the latest edition of our GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Annual Report, covering sector trends, the work of the M4D Utilities Innovation Fund grantees and that of the programme, since it began. In emerging markets, close to one billion people live […]

Sharing three key learnings from our Asia Industry Forum

In the last week of January, our team gathered in Colombo to host the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme’s Asia Industry Forum. The forum brought together actors from the mobile, energy, water and sanitation sectors that are striving to improve access to essential utility services in the region. The Hon. Minister of Power, […]

Exploring the Gender Gap in Identification: Policy insights from 10 countries

The ability to prove your identity is fundamental to exercise your rights and secure access to a wide range of vital services such as healthcare, education, mobile connectivity, social security programmes and financial services. Globally, there are still one billion people who face daily challenges in proving their identity and women and girls are among […]

Key Takeaways from GSMA Connected Women Asia Event 2018

‘Partnering for Impact’ mobile operators look to the future and to the importance of cross-industry collaboration as the way forward Women in South Asia are 58% less likely than men to use mobile internet. This represents the highest gender gap of anywhere in the world. While progress continues to be made, the digital gender gap […]

Digital identity opportunities in Malawi, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Zambia

Over one billion people around the world, including more than 230 million women and girls in the Commonwealth, lack official proof of identity. Recognising that mobile technology and mobile network operators (MNOs) are well-positioned to tackle this issue, we explored the identity landscape in Malawi, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Zambia.

Digital identity insights from Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Rwanda

For the one billion people globally without any official identification, mobile technology has the potential to deliver identity solutions that enable them to live a better life. However, in order to achieve this we need to understand how individuals use (or don’t use) identity solutions in their day-to-day lives.

Access to Mobile Services and Proof of Identity 2019: Assessing the impact on digital and financial inclusion

Our latest research report explores the linkages between access to mobile services and access to formal identification as well as how this impacts the ability of underserved populations to be digitally and financially included.

Payments as a platform: The future of mobile money

In a previous blog, we shared our early insights into the mobile money industry’s transition towards a transformative new business model: a ‘payments as a platform’ approach that connects consumers with third-party services across a range of industries. The platform-based approach is not only about enlarging the ecosystem and incorporating more partners and third parties […]