With mobile technology as one of our key investment themes, mobile money has been exemplary in defining the impact that mobile can have on access to finance for both individuals and organizations. Here’s what we read this week on the latest news in mobile money.
Mobile Money Transforms Kenyan Banking Market from Mobile Payments Today
As one of the best examples of successful mobile money adoption, 64% of Kenyans now actively use their mobile phone … read more
Agriculture employs 65% of Africa’s labor force and accounts for 32% of gross domestic product overall. Of the 65% employed, smallholder farmers produce 80% of Africa’s food. With modern technology, African countries are taking initiatives to change the agricultural sector.
Science Agriculture Estate Programme to Begins Next Year on Ghana News Agency
On November 19, Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, announced that the Ghanaian government will begin working on an … read more
Developing countries received over $400 billion in remittances in 2012 according to a World Bank (see our infographic on remittances here). This is a great example of how mobile money has changed the way people send money by making it easier and safer. This week, we read many stories detailing both progress and challenges in the sector. We are always looking for innovative entrepreneurs that piggyback on the success of mobile money to provide … read more
Wind energy has been used for centuries to move ships, pump water, and grind grain. It’s now one of the most cost-effective sources of new generation, competing with new installations of coal, gas and nuclear power. We are always looking for innovative technologies that can resolve the energy access gap.
Wind power seen generating up to 18% of global power by 2050 on International Energy Agency
By 2050, wind power could generate up to 18% … read more
With the upcoming GSMA Mobile for Development Summit, we focused our weekly reading on mobile money and technology. Mobile money has become a mainstream service for MNOs in emerging markets posing both benefits and risks. We are always looking for innovators and startups that can piggyback on these innovations to promote financial inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid.
Mobile money transforming Africa by Arthur Goldstruck on Mark Lives
Since the first mobile payments … read more
This week we focused our reading on the benefits and use of clean energy. By 2030, the United Nations aims to double energy efficiency and renewable energy worldwide and declared this decade one of Sustainable Energy For All. Over 1.4 billion people lack access to basic electricity, 95% of which live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. We are always looking for innovative technologies that can resolve the energy access gap.
Solving Energy Poverty With Solar … read more
For this week’s reading, we focused on agriculture’s impact on water. By 2020, between 75 to 250 billion people will be exposed to water stress, a result of depleting fresh water resources. Although there are policy-driven efforts to reduce water stress and contamination, we are always looking for new technologies and initiatives that can have a greater impact on these global problems.
Following … read more
The increase in remittances and money transfers poses an interesting challenge to mobile and banking technologies. We are always looking for the newest innovations in mobile tech for the BSP Fund. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention in remittances and mobile technology this week.
Remittances to Africa carry a high price tag by Tosin Sulaiman on Reuters
As the official remittance flow to Africa has increased to a record $60.4 … read more
All eyes are on Kenya this week, as the nation awaits the results of an historic election. As such, this week we’re reporting on the progress we’ve seen in Kenya and across sub-Saharan Africa and how this election is different from the last.
“#KenyaDecides – Reflections from a Regional Fellow” by Rachel Gichinga on Acumen Fund Blog
Rachel, an Acumen Fund fellow and Kenyan national, writes from the ground in Nairobi. She, along … read more
This week’s articles cover news on technology innovation in Africa. There are many opportunities for organizations of all sizes, both public and private, to respond to the diverse needs on the African continent.
“2013 and the Emerging Market Potential” on IT News Africa
The potential for growth in emerging markets is going to be driven by “fast-paced technological advancement.” In Africa in particular, we’re seeing the development of technological hubs and centers such … read more
This week in the blogosphere, we found several stories that evidence exactly what makes Kenya so unique.
“Connected tech communities and competitive advantage: the Kenyan way” by Erik Hersman on White African
Erik Hersman, one of the leaders in the Nairobi technology community, writes on the differences among the major technology hubs in Africa: Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. Each region is unique in its own way: Nigeria has the most people while … read more
The growing adoption of mobile phones continues to spur innovation throughout Africa.
“CCK Sector Statistics Report – 4th Quarter 2012” on iHub
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) releases quarterly reports on the use and growth of information and communication technologies. iHub provides a short summary of the key statistics relating to mobile phone subscriptions and data and internet use. Now 75% of Kenyans have a mobile phone subscription; 36% have Internet … read more
From mobile developers to telecoms to the hardware itself, the mobile technology sector continues to make exciting progress in India, Africa, and Latin America.… read more
As we introduced in our last post on this topic, Kenya is using several policy tools to stimulate renewable energy development and grow its national energy supply. With rapidly growing demand, the government has clearly identified renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, as a reliable and sustainable way to increase energy supply.
Renewable energy production presents the potential for income and employment generation. It also encourages private investment while minimizing environmental harm. … read more
Earlier this year, our blog post Africa’s Big Three discussed the impact of the growing number of mobile subscriptions on Africa’s three largest economies: South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria respectively. Based on World Bank research, an additional ten phones per 100 people adds .8 percentage points to GDP growth. In that post, we found that Nigeria could replace Egypt as the second largest African economy based on mobile phone penetration’s value add to GDP growth … read more
Kenya’s National Energy Policy is designed “to facilitate provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, reliable and secure energy services at least cost while protecting the environment.” The efforts come alongside a critical time for Kenya – economic growth and energy demand are higher than ever. The current supply, although increasing slowly, cannot keep up with demand. In response, the Kenyan government is using three policy tools to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy. The aim is … read more
We recently wrote about the rapid uptake of mobile broadband and its expected journey toward revolutionizing the digital divide in sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya, in particular, shows signs that mobile broadband is the key to increasing Internet access and ICT sophistication. In this post we’ll share the stats and driving forces behind mobile broadband’s success in Kenya.… read more
Every week, we read dozens of articles on our favorite industry trends and relate them to our investment thesis. We pick the most popular trend from the week and share the top articles along with our thoughts.
This week, we’re featuring news on smartphones and telecoms and other ICT headlines. … read more
Today, there are over 60 million mobile cellular subscriptions in Africa – an astounding increase from less than 5 million ten years ago. Unlike anywhere else, mobile phone subscriptions quickly leapfrogged over fixed landline subscriptions, some calling it “The Death of the Fixed Line.” Similarly, mobile broadband is experiencing a much faster uptake than fixed broadband. In this post, we discuss the policy, infrastructure, and accessibility considerations that have allowed mobile to be … read more
Every week, we read dozens of articles on our favorite industry trends and relate to our investment thesis. We pick the most popular trend from the week and share the top articles along with our thoughts.
This week, we read about the work that organizations and businesses are doing around the world to enhance, promote, and leverage the benefits of mobile.… read more
Last week we looked at the support system for mobile tech innovation; this week, several headlines caught our attention regarding the developing ecosystem of support for clean tech entrepreneurs in emerging markets.… read more
This week, we’re focusing on headlines in mobile tech innovation and that opportunities that are making it easier to innovate in Africa.… read more
How can mobile money be used to incentivize savings? Mobile money, if executed correctly, can extend financial inclusion to include savings capabilities as well as transfer and payments. We’re looking at some examples of that this week.… read more
Editor’s Note: This post is Alex Bashian’s reflection on Nairobi’s “calling” after his recent visit to East Africa.… read more
In our recent post, Africa’s Big Three, we compared Nigeria – Africa’s third largest economy – to South Africa and Egypt – the first and second largest, respectively. We discovered that added mobile penetration could boost Nigeria’s GDP to outgrow Egypt’s by 2020. This prediction is a result of increased mobile penetration and its positive effects on economic growth. In this post, we’re following up on our prediction with a discussion of another benefit of … read more