When it comes to mobile, Africa can teach the world a thing or two. Perhaps this is due to our late comer advantage, or perhaps the fact that in Africa, technology actually serves a basic need – it really betters lives.
Mobile & Healthcare – Mobile technology is an effective solution to the problems facing healthcare in Africa. It allows faster and easier communication and access to information. Mobile gives people easier access to important resources, for example for learning about certain illnesses and how to prevent or treat them.
Mobile Banking – The large distances consumers need to cover in rural areas in order to reach bricks-and-mortar bank branches have traditionally meant that a persistently high percentage of people across the continent were unbanked. Thanks to mobile banking, these people can access their accounts simply, from almost anywhere. One of the most successful examples of a mobile banking service is M-Pesa in Kenya, where it has grown from a novelty to a bona fide payment network. M-Pesa’s success is based purely on its wonderful simplicity. Future advances in mobile payments mean that the majority of the world’s adult population will soon be able to transact electronically.
Mobile & Agriculture – By 2050 the world will have to feed 9 billion people, this will require an estimated 70% rise in agricultural production! Mobile can help make improvements across the agricultural value chain. With mobile people can get educate themselves about farming, gather information about crop related diseases, investigate the quality of seeds, or keep abreast of market prices.
Mobile & Education – Mobile technology allows schools and universities to deliver content, offer learning support and communicate with students more effectively, and at a lower cost. Mobile provides an anytime/anywhere opportunity for learning.
The spread of mobile phones and the general advancement of technology in Africa has been dramatic – but believe it or not, the mobile revolution has only just begun in Africa. Feature phones have and will continue to be a focus for the first phase of the revolution, but there is still much to come and we can’t wait to see where mobile takes us next!