Weekly Review May 5-11

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.

Mobile Money for the Unbanked's Findings on Mobile Money Users

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.

Safaricom Ltd. FY 2012 Presentation
Kenya’s Safaricom released its annual report for FY 2012 this week, where 70% of the population has access to a mobile phone. The report updates the oft-recited M-PESA statistics: At the end of 2011, there were 14.9 million registered M-PESA users and 39,400 agents. Comparing the statistics in the report and World Bank data, we determined that 67% of the working-age population in Kenya (age 15-64) uses M-PESA.

Announcing the results of the 2011 Global Mobile Money Adoption Survey” by Neil Davidson on GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked Blog
In an impressive effort to measure the true adoption of mobile money globally, MMU collected data from 52 operators in 35 countries on the mobile money deployments, including the number of registered and active customers. The findings reveal that there are 60 million registered mobile money users as of June 2011 (with a significant portion of that attributed to M-PESA as noted above). You can download the report here and check out MMU’s Blog for commentary on the findings over the next few weeks.

Mobile Broadband key to meeting Millennium Development Goals” on Media Update South Africa
Mobile services company Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa presented at The MDG Summit in Cape Town last week on mobile technology’s role towards achievement MDGs by 2015. In particular, Mwanbu Wanendeya, the VP for Communications and Sustainability, commented that there is a direct link between mobile broadband and increased productivity and quality of life. He noted, “mobile broadband is critical infrastructure for the continent’s socioeconomic growth and prosperity.” Innovation solutions in technology from the private sector will play a powerful role in helping governments achieve MDGs like ending poverty and creating a global partnership.

Pivot East Finalists Announced” on Pivot East Blog
There’s just under a month to go until Pivot East, one of the biggest mobile app competitions in East Africa. Check out the finalists on the Pivot East Blog and look out for us at the event.

Pivot East

Twitter is looking at emerging markets with new mobile web version” by Anna Heim on The Next Web
Twitter has released a new mobile web version of the in-demand micro-blogging site. The new version is ideal for feature phones on low-bandwidth networks, as it “uses one-third less bandwidth than the previous iteration.”

Insights Africa by Google
Want to know more about the media habits of consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa? Now, thanks to Google, you can. Google interviewed urban consumers in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda last year and has presented them on Insights Africa in an interactive tool. For example, check out the number of people surveyed who reported owning a mobile phone in the image below, and you can click this link to interact.

Insights Africa Screenshot

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