'Have u tried cow dung?' Smartphones help Kenyan farmers text their way out of trouble. How m-commerce is courting Latin America. Consumers in Latin America, as well as around the globe, hardly go anywhere without their phones these days.
Mobile enables millions of consumers to lead a more connected life – allowing them to do many activities that weren’t possible before. At MasterCard, our goal is to develop technologies that allow consumers to pay seamlessly and safely, reflecting the reality and demands of today’s world. The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Africa. 1.
Eneza Education For providing kids in rural Africa with a virtual tutor. The Kenyan startup, cofounded by two former members of Nairobi's iHub community, creates educational content that kids in low-income rural areas can access on low-end cell phones. India’s off-grid, rural mobile towers are creating new businesses—and lighting up homes. Henri Winand runs a fuel-cell company.
Fuel cells run on hydrogen to produce energy. So why has Intelligent Energy, Winand’s firm, just agreed a deal to manage some 16,000 diesel-powered mobile network towers in India? One reason is that the deal will bring in an estimated £1 billion ($1.5 billion) in revenue for the company over the next decade. For a business that posted a £48-million loss on revenue of £13.6 million for the last full year, the income certainly helps.
Preserving the Future for Lake Malawi. Overfishing and increased economic activity are depleting the fish stock in Lake Malawi, Africa's third largest lake.
Between 1988 and 1992, the commercial fish catch fell by over 20 percent. This problem has major economic and environmental consequences for the future of Malawi and other countries around the lake. Bordered by Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique, Lake Malawi covers a total area of 22,490 square kilometers.1 The lakeshore people, particularly those in landlocked Malawi, rely on the lake for water, transport, recreation, electricity, irrigation, and most importantly, fish. How Mobile is Becoming a Staple in Transformative Farming. A farmer uses his mobile phone to relay messages of a good planting season.
(Photo: IRRI.) By Ernie Hu For farmers who lack convenient, reliable access to in-person or Internet-based services, mobile is giving them the power to do everything from staying connected to increasing crop production. Such mobile access is becoming especially important in countries like China that have vast rural populations and whose economic stability is directly linked to investments in agriculture. Recent reports show that approximately 596 million tons of crops will be needed to feed China’s population, which is predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2023.
According to the China Ministry of Agriculture, the country has continued to increase grain harvests, such as wheat and rice, each year for the past decade. Such dramatic growth has challenged farmers across the continent, but technologies like mobile are beginning to make a difference. Ernie Hu, Vice President, Software Group, IBM Greater China Group. Expanding Africa’s Digital Frontier: Farmers Show the Way. Agricultural transformation is a priority for Africa.
Across the continent, the significant information needs of farmers—accurate local weather forecasts, relevant advice on agricultural practices and input use, real time price information and market logistics—remain largely unmet. To the extent that rural regions are typically sparsely populated with limited infrastructure and dispersed markets, the use of innovative information and communication technologies (ICTs) overcome some of these information asymmetries and connect farmers to opportunities that weren't necessarily available to them earlier.
Harnessing the rapid growth of digital technologies holds hope for transformative agricultural development. Tech hubs across Africa: Which will be the legacy-makers? One of the key features of the African digital renaissance is that it is increasingly home grown.
In other sectors of the African economy, such as mining or agribusiness, much of the know-how is imported and the wealth extracted. But Africa’s 700 million or so mobile subscribers use services that are provided locally, and they are also downloading more applications that are developed locally. One of the main sources of locally developed applications is the technology hubs that are springing up across Africa.
How data could help Tanzania's young informal workers. Tanzania is facing a youth unemployment crisis.
The World Bank has reported that around 900,000 young people enter the country’s job market annually, but only 50,000 to 60,000 formal sector jobs are created each year. With more than 66 percent of the population under 25, this job shortage will keep rising. On the flipside, young people are adapting to their situation and increasingly seeking work and opportunities to make money in the informal sector. A study of young people across seven regions of the country found that 75 percent of participants earned their main income through the informal sector, with most earning around the poverty line. What are the government and private sector doing in Tanzania to ensure young people can provide more for themselves and their households? Although Tanzania’s national poverty reduction strategy emphasizes employment for women and young people, as yet there are no specific policies to directly support and protect young informal workers.