GSMA Mobile 360 Series - Mobile for Development

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. We identify opportunities and deliver innovations with socio-economic impact in financial services, health, agriculture, digital identity, energy, water, sanitation, disaster resilience and gender equality.

To date our work has impacted 30 million lives across 49 countries. Mobile is the single technology which cuts across geographies, cultures and income levels and we expect the impact on emerging markets to grow exponentially.

Explore the variety of sessions that took place at Mobile 360 – Africa presented by Mobile for Development.

Africa Mobile for Development 2018

Is the Digital Landscape Inclusive for all?

Connected Women

In this increasingly connected and digital world, consumers are using a wide range of mobile enabled services for education, agriculture, health, finance and utilities. Yet, despite significant growth in mobile usage across developed regions, certain segments of society are being left behind: women, individuals with less education, rural residents, and the poor account for a disproportionate number of those not connected. A clear and explicit strategy to support these groups needs to be agreed, but where should we focus our immediate action? What are the barriers we need to overcome and what are the consequences of doing nothing?

Mobile as a Lifeline

Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation

With a quarter of the world’s refugee population in Sub-Saharan Africa, how are mobile operators, start-ups and governments finding new digital solutions for addressing humanitarian challenges? Raising investment capital, reaching new users and securing government support for their business models are huge challenges for start-ups. How are mobile operators working with start-ups and cross industry players to scale future life-enhancing services and what should government’s role be in leading the humanitarian response?

Roundtable: Accelerating Digital Transformation and Identity for All through Mobile

Digital Identity

Access to a government-recognised digital Identity will be increasingly crucial as countries are implementing their Digital Transformation strategies. Individuals’ ability to digitally identify themselves – both online and offline – will be key to their participation in a digital society and accessing life-enhancing services including healthcare, voting, education, financial services, employment and social protections. Mobile plays a key role in enabling digital participation yet having a unique mobile subscription depends on presenting proof-of-identity in 147 countries. GSMA research found that where such policies are in place, mobile penetration in a country is usually directly proportional to the share of the population with access to a recognised form of identification. This roundtable session aims to explore questions such as:

  • What roles can mobile operators play in enabling or accelerating the digital identity ecosystem?
  • What have different African countries’ experiences been in linking digital identities to a national mobile SIM registration exercise?
  • How can Governments accelerate Digital Transformation while enabling access to mobile services?
GSMA Mobile Money APIs: Making integration easier for the mobile money ecosystem

Mobile Money

In 2016, the GSMA led an industry initiative with mobile money providers, platform providers and third-party stakeholders to publish a first set of harmonised mobile money APIs. The mobile money APIs streamline partnering with the mobile money industry as a whole (instead of relying on bespoke integrations with individual providers) and offer advanced and secure functionality for users. They allow businesses to take advantage of new opportunities to leverage mobile money as a tool for enterprise and retail payments, in turn, unleashing innovative new products and services, further accelerating the digital financial ecosystem.

Adoption of the mobile money APIs has now taken place in Africa, Latin America and South Asia with mobile network operators, platform vendors and third party service providers. This expanding footprint is an indication of industry-wide collaboration and commitment to embracing new technologies and increasing financial inclusion. This session provides the opportunity to share with participants progress on adoption of mobile money APIs including opportunities and impact on the digital financial ecosystem.

GSMA Mobile Money Certification

Mobile Money

In this workshop participants will learn about the recently launched GSMA Mobile Money Certification – the first global certification scheme for the mobile money industry. Participants will get insights on the certification criteria, the process to become certified, and the significant impact on the industry especially the value and benefits it brings to consumers, regulators and partners in the ecosystem. Participants will also have an opportunity to ask questions to the GSMA, the certification management organisation and the assessment company.

Transforming the Agricultural Last Mile: Shifting from Paper Records towards Digital Transparency and Financial Inclusion


Increasingly, mobile technology is helping agribusinesses and farmers to optimise their operations in the agricultural last mile, increasing visibility in the supply chain, supporting sustainable sourcing practices and meeting traceability and certification requirements. In addition, last mile digital tools can pave the way for financial inclusion of smallholder farmers as they generate a wide range of data that contributes to building economic identities and allows them to establish creditworthiness. Mobile operators and AgTech providers are well positioned to deliver enterprise solutions for the agricultural last mile, meeting the needs of agribusinesses and farmers.

In this session we will discuss practical challenges faced by the players in the last mile, the prerequisites to successfully rolling out last mile digital tools and the latest approaches in digital finance for the rural segment.

Digital Humanitarian Response: A Regional View of New Approaches, Challenges and Opportunities

Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation

Mobile technology and other innovative digital tools are having a transformative impact on communities affected by crisis, as well as the way aid agencies provide services. This session will provide an opportunity to showcase examples of new approaches and mobile-enabled solutions for humanitarian contexts in the region and provide a forum for discussion between the private sector and humanitarian community on overcoming partnership and operational challenges, addressing sustainability and understanding beneficiary needs and preferences.

Digital Health at Scale: Key Considerations for Developing Markets


While digital health is still in its infancy, it is evident that greater use of technology solutions can help address key healthcare issues: expanding healthcare coverage (access), enhancing services (quality) and optimising resources (cost). The number of digital health services is growing but many pilots are not followed by full-scale implementation due to a lack of sustainable financing; fragmentation; narrow focus and long time-to-market for commercial solutions.

In this session, digital health industry experts share challenges and lessons learned around stable government investment, ecosystem collaboration and interoperability.