MWC Africa 2022
The GSMA Mobile for Development team drives innovation in digital technology to reduce inequalities in our world; bringing together mobile operator members, tech innovators, the development community and governments.
We are excited to share that we will be hosting our very first dedicated ‘Mobile for Development Theatre’. Join our sessions and conversations to learn more on our research, insights and impacts, and get an opportunity to forge new partnerships.
To register your interest to attend the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Development Theatre Sessions
Day 1 | 25 October 2022, Tuesday
Tuesday, 12:00 – 13:15
We are already witnessing the impacts of the global climate crisis – more frequent extreme weather events, less predictable weather patterns and increased stress on food systems. While no country is immune to the effects of our changing climate, it is the world’s poorest and those least responsible for environmental damage who continue to suffer the most, whether through displacement, lack of food or scarcity of resources such as water and energy. Low- and middle-income countries are under enormous pressure to adapt and build their resilience to climate change. Digital technology, when adopted through enabling policies and strong cross-sector partnerships, is uniquely positioned to build the capacity of future societies, natural systems and agriculture value chains to cope with, and recover from, climate-related hazards, trends, or disasters.
In a highly interactive session, we will:
– Present the latest trends in digital innovations linked to climate resilience and adaptation.
– Profile examples from the latest round of The GSMA Mobile for Development Innovation Fund grantees, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and partners across Mobile for Development to illustrate successful case studies for such solutions.
– Facilitate a conversation between MNOs, start-ups and donors to discuss the key barriers and opportunities for accelerating investment and innovation to build solutions for climate resilience in Africa.
Tuesday, 14:30 – 15:45
Worldwide, 274 million people need humanitarian assistance. As a result of conflict, natural hazard disasters, and increasingly severe climate shocks, the number continues to increase with millions forced from their homes. Mobile technology presents an opportunity to provide more dignified and efficient support to affected communities. To design effective solutions, humanitarian agencies must understand user needs, existing behaviours, and risks that can come with the use of digital technology.
This interactive session will present newly released cutting-edge research into how displaced people in three humanitarian contexts use their mobile phones and outline future plans and innovation funding opportunities by the GSMA in the field of digital humanitarian action. Attendees will be invited to explore research findings and listen to the experience of users in Lebanon, South Sudan and Papua New Guinea.
Tuesday, 16:30 – 17:45
This session will explore the current mobile money climate, including trends over the past decade, and future opportunities, and will dive into some of the exciting solutions being implemented across Africa. Covering sectors including agriculture, utility services and humanitarian assistance, you will hear from operators, NGOs and start-ups offering innovative mobile-money enabled solutions, highlighting the crucial role that financial inclusion plays in their activity.
Day 2 | 26 October 2022, Wednesday
Wednesday, 11:30 – 12:45
With the mobile money industry reaching maturity, there is an increasing need to innovate to attract and reach new customers and capture more value from existing users. New tools and products address the needs of the underrepresented consumers, including women and those making their living in the informal economy are vital for financial inclusion. These segments of society are often harder to reach, facing more barriers and can be overlooked by mainstream financial service providers.
Strong partnerships and open APIs are helping facilitate diversification by creating complementary products that address gaps in the broader needs of consumers. Join us for this session that will examine innovative tech solutions that help generate further growth for the industry and drive financial inclusion, while protecting consumers in low tech environments.
With our panel of experts, we will explore exciting examples and use cases including how biometrics can help develop customer identities and improve customer journeys and how tokenisation can protect customers, especially women’s identities when transacting with third party vendors.
Wednesday, 14:00 – 15:15
Digital finance could boost the GDP of emerging economies by $3.7 trillion by 2025. While rapidly accelerating the digitisation of payments, in 2021, mobile money processed a milestone $1 trillion in annual transactions. As mobile money diversifies into digital finance for all, new business models will evolve, creating new opportunities for providers and driving financial inclusion. This will transform the way consumers and businesses transact. Consumer trust and safety by design will become strong determinants of business sustainability, even more so where partnerships with vulnerable populations are involved.
In this session, renowned global experts will discuss the approaches players need to adopt to ensure safer and more resilient digital finance for the billion registered accounts owned by individuals with diversified needs.
Wednesday, 16:00 – 17:15
Exceeding $1 trillion in processed transactions for the first time in 2021, the remarkable growth of the mobile money industry is increasingly attributable to third party-driven transactions. The rapid growth of transactions such as merchant payments, bill payments, and services such as digital credit, savings and insurance is a testimony to this.
Accelerating this diversification process is key to unlocking access to a wide range of services to previously excluded populations, driving financial inclusion. But it is also key for the mobile money industry’s sustainability; from revenue diversification to its partners who can leverage the power of seamless payments. The conditions to make this possible are manifold, both at the level of mobile money providers and ecosystem partners: a clear understanding of market opportunities leading to sound strategic decisions, investment appetite, seamless user experience (underpinned by growing smartphone ownership), or an enabling regulatory environment.
Join us for this session where industry experts will discuss ways to secure a more sustainable digital financial future through mobile money.
Day 3 | 27 October 2022, Thursday
Thursday, 11:30 – 12:45
Ensuring everyone has the opportunity to connect is more critical now than ever before. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are 780 million people who are still unconnected to mobile internet. Despite substantial increases in coverage over the last decade, 53 per cent of those living in areas covered by mobile broadband are not using it. Those who are unconnected are more likely to be women, people with low income, less educated, living in rural areas, and persons with disabilities. In fact, the mobile internet gender gap in Sub-Saharan Africa has seen little change in recent years, with women 37 per cent less likely than men to use mobile internet. These numbers highlight that while increasing mobile broadband coverage remains an important issue, addressing the gap in usage, especially for women, is key to closing the digital divide. Targeted and informed action is required to ensure that no one is left behind in an increasingly connected world.
This session will look at the latest data and trends on the digital divide in Africa and discuss what can be done to accelerate internet adoption, especially for women. It will bring together key partners from the private sector and government for an interactive discussion on strategies for reaching the underserved. This will include the key issue of handset affordability – a critical barrier to mobile ownership and internet access.
Thursday, 14:00 – 15:15
Digital solutions can unlock business models with the capacity of extending service provision to low-income populations. However, these solutions require strong partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as mobile operators and other technology providers. For example, in Rwanda and Togo, the governments have been at the forefront of such partnerships, as is the case with their end-user subsidy pilot program to provide off-grid solar products, as well as their cashless payment system for public transportation. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with low energy access rates, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, off-grid solar providers like Nuru play an important role in energy access through innovative public-private partnerships (PPPs).
However, collaboration between these different stakeholders faces a variety of unique barriers that they must navigate and consider. Through supporting a range of these partnerships, the Digital Utilities programme has collected valuable insights (which will be available in the upcoming publication, ‘Partnering with the public sector: A toolkit for start-ups in the utilities sector’) that can help stakeholders and enabling organisations support these partnerships and help them deliver impact at scale.
This session brings together leaders from different sectors to discuss the drivers of successful PPPs, reflecting on why these partnerships are key to improving service provision across Africa and how they overcame some of the barriers they faced. We will also share insights from our soon to be published Digital Utilities Partnership Hub and the aforementioned toolkit, which aim to support leaders building such partnerships.
Thursday, 16:00 – 17:15