Mobile for Development

Mobile for Development is a dedicated global team within the GSMA, which brings together our mobile operator members, tech innovators, the development community and governments, to prove the power of mobile in emerging markets. Mobile for Developmentran a series of open and closed-door sessions and workshops at this year’s Mobile 360 – Africa, exploring how innovative mobile technologies are having positive social impact in Africa and beyond.

Mobile for Development

Digital Identity

The ability to prove one’s identity is essential to securing a number of life-enhancing services such as healthcare, education, financial services, connectivity and social protections. However, an estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide lack formal identification, predominantly in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Whilst many people lack formal identification, mobile phone penetration is increasing, with even the most rural communities frequently having access to mobile phones. As a result mobile technology has the unique opportunity to provide socially impactful and commercially sustainable digital identity solutions in developing markets.

The Digital Identity team will be holding an interactive session, to look at emerging policy and regulatory trends linked to mobile SIM registration, promote best practice on how to create an enabling environment for digital identity and highlight the role mobile operators can play in providing consumers’ access to life-enhancing services. This session will look at examples of some of the digital identity solutions that are being trialled across the region.

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Connected Women

In today’s increasingly connected world, women are being left behind. A significant gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in mobile internet and mobile

money services, is hindering growth for the mobile industry and means women are missing out.

The Connected Women team were at Mobile 360 – Africa discussing key measures that help drive digital and financial inclusion for women.

Connected Society

The internet is the most important enabler of social development and economic growth of our time. Already 3.2 billion people are online – 2.4 billion of them through mobile – directly benefiting from and contributing to the digital economy. 4 billion people remain offline, unable to participate and unaware of the opportunities.

The Connected Society team was at Mobile 360 – Africa discussing how the mobile industry can help to unlock the power of the internet for the underserved by tackling key barriers: network coverage, affordability, digital skills and locally relevant content. We held three workshops – “Designing a conducive policy and fiscal framework to improve connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa”, “Catalysing mobile internet use in Africa: new models to drive adoption” (panel and workshop) and “2nd GSMA Rural Connectivity Ecosystem Workshop”.

Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities

The M4D Utilities team held a Working Group, bringing together members of the energy, water and sanitation ecosystems and the mobile industry to build the opportunity for mobile-enabled utility services.

The M4D Utilities team also held a Mobile Operator Workshop to discuss the opportunity for mobile technology in the energy, water and sanitation sectors, and to address the challenges faced by operators working in these sectors. The Workshop facilitated the sharing of best practices by operators leading in the utilities sector and provide opportunities for informal networking.

Digital Identity

The ability to prove one’s identity is essential to securing a number of life-enhancing services such as healthcare, education, financial services, connectivity and social protections. However, an estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide lack formal identification, predominantly in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Whilst many people lack formal identification, mobile phone penetration is increasing, with even the most rural communities frequently having access to mobile phones. As a result mobile technology has the unique opportunity to provide socially impactful and commercially sustainable digital identity solutions in developing markets.

The Digital Identity team held an interactive session, to look at emerging policy and regulatory trends linked to mobile SIM registration, promote best practice on how to create an enabling environment for digital identity and highlight the role mobile operators can play in providing consumers’ access to life-enhancing services. This session looked at examples of some of the digital identity solutions that are being trialled across the region.

mAgri

The digitisation of agricultural value chains represents an emerging opportunity for mobile operators to drive growth and adoption of mobile wallets in rural areas. In Africa specifically, the direct annual revenue derived from business-to-person (B2P) payments in agriculture alone could reach $314M by 2020. However, agribusinesses are demanding holistic enterprise services to optimise procurement, track and trace, manage farmer data and digital payments. Mobile operators are in a unique position to collaborate with technology providers and bring to market end-to-end digitisation solutions for last-mile sourcing that many agribusinesses demand.

The mAgri team held a workshop, to bring together decision makers in each stakeholder group (mobile money service providers, agribusinesses and technology providers) for an interactive discussion focused on the opportunity and action plan to digitise agricultural value chains.

Disaster Response

Mobile technology and mobile network operators are playing an increasingly active and important role in humanitarian preparedness and response. From connectivity and information access for displaced populations, to mobile money enabled humanitarian cash transfers for communities impacted by disaster, humanitarian responses are becoming more digital.

The Disaster Response team held a session to detail some of the main opportunities presented by this digital shift, as well as providing a platform for discussion on how existing challenges and barriers can be overcome. The session was framed under the banner of the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, an industry initiative uniting more than 100 mobile operators, as well as humanitarian and technical partners, committed to ensuring connectivity can support affected populations in times of disaster and crisis. The session saw the launch of a new report, providing insights into the socio-economic impact of mobile on the lives of refugee populations.

Mobile Money

In addition to the Mobile Money Global Forum we held a workshop to provide an overview of the Mobile Money API, covering key principles, updates on implementation and a demonstration of the developer portal. We will also reported back on results from the latest API hackathon in Tanzania.

mHealth

Mobile can increase the quality, reduce the cost and extend the reach of healthcare to benefit millions. mHealth services have the potential to generate significant impact by reaching women and children who lack access to essential healthcare and nutritional information. By forging stronger connections between the mobile and healthcare industries, the GSMA mHealth Programme is supporting commercially sustainable health services that transform the lives of people in need and promote the wellbeing of mothers and families in developing countries.

Ecosystem Accelerator

Mobile can increase the quality, reduce the cost and extend the reach of healthcare to benefit millions. mHealth services have the potential to generate significant impact by reaching women and children who lack access to essential healthcare and nutritional information. By forging stronger connections between the mobile and healthcare industries, the GSMA mHealth Programme is supporting commercially sustainable health services that transform the lives of people in need and promote the wellbeing of mothers and families in developing countries.