Event Highlights & Summary
Mobile 360 – West Africa, brought over 250 attendees from 15 countries together to connect and network with senior regional and international policy, regulatory, operator, investor and start-up representatives from across the region. The one-day event, focused on fostering the digital transformation of West African economies.
Mobile Network Operators collaborated with public and private stakeholders to deliver social impact and drive growth through these key themes:
- ‘Mobile as the Foundation for Digital Transformation in West Africa’;
- ‘Building an Environment Conducive to Expanding Mobile Broadband Connectivity’;
- ‘Stimulating the Development of Scalable, Life-enhancing Services’;
- ‘Fostering Growth, Inclusion and Innovation’;
- and ‘Use Cases of mobile and social transformation’.
National Dialogue Roundtable
A National Dialogue for Mobile-Enabled Digital Transformation convened representatives of 3 Ministries (those of ICT; Education & Women; Child Protection and Solidarity), 2 MNOs (Orange CIV & MTN Group, representing a combined 78% market share in CIV), UNDP and GSMA. Delegates highlighted the importance of mobile-enabled digital solutions for progressing development objectives – particularly in health, energy, education, agriculture and financial services – and the need for impactful public-private sector partnerships; the challenges of rural coverage and affordability were acknowledged.
Mobile and Social Transformation
Max Cuvellier, Head of the Ecosystem Accelerator programme, chaired a session highlighting recent industry success in delivering socio-economically impactful services and the effect these have had on rural families, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). During the session, Ogunlana Olumide, Co-Founder of Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund Round 1 grantee PrepClass spoke about how telco operators can truly help startups become more innovative in order to achieve this socioeconomic impact, discussing the importance of sandboxes to test APIs, open access to tools that allow compatibility testing, and transparency with data.
West Africa and Mobile Money
While East Africa has long been the darling of mobile money innovation, West Africa has also witnessed impressive growth over the past five years. At M360 – West Africa, GSMA Mobile Money published a deep-dive blog post and presentation focusing on the West African mobile money market, based on data from the decade edition of the State of the Industry Report.