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All things ICT and mobile germane to the base of the pyramid

LHB Associates currently has teams on the ground in Nigeria and Ghana doing cash usage behavior research (CUBeR) with cassava farmers

They are doing focus group discussions and surveys.  Dr. Babcock is doing key informant interviews with cassava agribusinesses, mobile financial service providers, financial institutions and other stakeholders.  Our client would like the results of the CUBeR to inform how cassava digital payments alliances might be created.

Mobile Money – Malawi 2016

Social cash transfer FGD participants in Malawi receiving their allowances on mobile money   A Malawi agro dealer and grocer that is an Airtel Money and TNM Mpamba agent   A Malawi grocer that is also a TNM Mpamba agent   A Malawi sundries store and tailor that is also an Airtel Money agent   A Malawi focus group discussion (FGD) about mobile money   A Malawi grocer that is also a Zoona agent   TNM Mpamba fee schedule – a 10000 kW (~$14.50 USD) cash out comes with a ~50 cent (USD) fee

Why a Common Platform is Within Reach: Mobile finance and the emergence of a comprehensive ICT4D mHub platform?

I had the pleasure of participating in and being a lunch table discussion leader for the July 2015 ICT4AG conference in Washington, D.C. As I reflected on the various presentations and coffee break conversations, it seems we are already well on our way toward imagining what the next generation of ICT4AG (information communications technology for agriculture) can offer. But what this blog proposes is a broader view of the next generation of ICT4D (information communications technology for development); one that breaks down the inertia of our silos toward a common platform, a chain of sectors linked together by finance. The potential for doing this is not limited by the technology but only by our imagination and commitment. Currently there are numerous applications but they are not synced with each other. What is truly needed (and possible) is a comprehensive mHub type of platform that is multi-sectoral (e.g. agriculture, health, education, etc.) and multi-functional. This is an expansion of what was a formal outcome of another ICT4AG conference in Kigali, Rwanda, in November 2013. Like the July 2015 conference, the Kigali conference imagined the next generation of ICT4AG would be a comprehensive platform(s) that includes multiple agriculture functionalities that align with...
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Three Steps to Jumpstart Agriculture Mobile Payments: Step 2 – forming strategic alliances

Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series that began last week, laying out three steps for embedding mobile money into agriculture development at the BoP. Click here for part one and part three. The new industry of mobile money began as recently as 2007 and has rapidly saturated the large urban city centers in East Africa. West Africa and elsewhere in the world are following close behind. The next challenge for the industry is to roll out into rural areas in further pursuit of breaking even – and even generating a return on investment. In their 2013 state of the industry report, GSMA, the umbrella organization for mobile network operators worldwide, acknowledges this challenge as well as the need to position mobile money agents in the right rural areas to have maximum impact. Meanwhile, a mobile payments strategic alliance partner for the cotton sector in Zambia believes a race is underway among large cotton buyers to have the fastest speed of payment to farmers. These same types of alliances that link large commodity buyers with mobile payments providers have emerged in Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and elsewhere. There are a number of dynamics that can strategically align a...
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