While FinTech is revolutionizing the banking industry and giving millions of people access to financial services for the first time, new banking models are emerging with FinTech start-ups and tech firms potentially disrupting the status quo. But business schools and universities are not preparing future bankers for these changes, says FinTech thought leader Henri Arslanian. How can designers, programmers and creative thinkers help?
We know that a strong presence on the web can make a big difference. Since our humble beginnings in 2014, we've reached thousands of small and mid size enterprises in Senegal. We provide affordable web solutions including domain name registration, hosting, web design, SEO services and more. Our goal is to expand to other regions in West Africa.
Florence Seriki, the founder and CEO of Omatek, a computer-making company in Nigeria, addresses the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world. How can we help emerging businesses bridge this gap and simultaneously sensitize leaders?
In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was agreed at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. This new framework is composed of 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets, and over 200 indicators. Several targets refer to digital technology, and the 2030 Agenda recognizes that “the spread of information and communication technology & global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies". SDG 9 commits the international community to “significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020”.
By 2034 Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion—yet only 3 to 4 million jobs are created annually. That means there’s an urgent need to create opportunities for the millions of people on the continent who are creative, smart and driven to succeed. The internet, and technology as a whole, offer great opportunities for creating jobs, growing businesses and boosting economies. But people need the right skills, tools and products to navigate the digital world and to make it work for them, their businesses and their communities.
It is clear that the app economy in Africa represents a tremendous opportunity for developers and users. Mobile phones can contribute to the economic and social development in Africa. The GSMA report estimated that the mobile industry will contribute $214 billion to the GDP. In 2015, the mobile phone ecosystem employed 1.3 million people on the continent.
Did you know the global mobile app market is now worth nearly $25 billion but Africa has almost no share of this mouthwatering cake. Although, our continent is the world’s biggest and fastest growing mobile telephone market after China, we have barely explored the goldmine of apps that are possible on our simple and smart phones.
Managing money can be particularly challenging for farmers since they receive the majority of their income during the harvest and this needs to cover their expenses for the rest of the year. To understand better the farmers’ cash flow challenges and the ways that digital financial services could help alleviate some of the burden, IFC has undertaken research into the financial lives of cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire. The World Bank Group is committed to enabling the financial inclusion of one billion people by 2020.
Meet Lucien, a cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire. Lucien uses an innovative mobile phone-based savings product introduced by Advans to help manage his finances.
How can digital data relevant to small
holder farmer activity be used to unlock better access to finance? What types of digital data are most likely to help financial institutions assess and price the various risks smallholder farmers face (which include timely input/offtake, weather, market price risk) and reduce the need to send loan officers across long distances to visit the farms?
Agriculture is a less familiar research domain among the machine learning community. Nevertheless, this domain offers unique and challenging scientific opportunities related to the spatio-temporal nature of the data, the multi-resolution data sources, the interaction with environmental models.
Breaking a Bubble in the digitized world, Bitcoin has emerged as one of breathtaking change in the worldwide accepted currencies. In this video, find out the opinions of Business giants about the future of Bitcoin.
The landscape of trade is constantly evolving. And the way that goods and services cross borders is transforming. Businesses today can use the Internet to manage almost every business process, from product sourcing and purchase to financial management, sales, marketing and distribution, cutting down on costs and reaching new markets. The growth of e-commerce is a unique opportunity to open access to international markets for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and least developed countries (LDCs).
You can buy sunlight with your phone, conduct an eye test on someone 100 miles away and attend a church service on your iPad. There are apps for investing in cows, for sending parcels and for mapping unrest. And soon you’ll be able to deliver blood and medicines by drone. There’s free Facebook, mobile banking, and the promise of cashless societies and digitised land records. And from Accra in the west to Kigali in the east, a spray of “tech hubs” talk about “leapfrogging” technology and incubating start-ups.
Africa is one of the fastest growing mobile regions in the world and has also become a cradle for creative innovation. At TEDxLugano, Julian Pistone and David Steinacker – the dynamic duo from Google – share their experience and knowledge of the widespread mobile technology in Africa and the power and transformative impact mobile could have in Africa.
Africat has enormous potential, not only to feed itself and eliminate hunger and food insecurity, but also to be a major player in global food markets. This potential lies in its land, water and oceans, in its men and women, in its knowledge and huge markets. Recognizing this opportunity, the African Union chose 10 years ago to make agriculture one of the pillars of the New Partnership for African Development.
Among 500 million small farms in the world standing on less than 2 hectares each, 41 million exist in Africa, accounting for 80% of all the farms in the continent (Lowder, Skoet, & Raney, 2016). These farms represent a diverse group of agricultural households and farmers which could be categorized differently, using various aspects such as size of landholdings, access to markets, and income levels. Smallholder farmers are the frontline of Africa's food supply and are currently severely handicapped in their ability to manage their farms as a business including limited access to financial products and services to improve and render more effective their ability to grow. Digital Financial Services can make a difference and help farmers improve their effective and capacity to grow and organize.
A software developer called Satoshi Nakamoto proposed bitcoin, which was an electronic payment system based on mathematical proof. The idea was to produce a currency independent of any central authority, transferable electronically, more or less instantly, with very low transaction fees.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile banking makes lives easier; for traders to buy produce from the villages, for people to keep money safe and to save for the future, for parents to easily pay for school fees. Airtel Money Uganda, a digital financial services provider supported by IFC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners under the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, has brought digital financial services to 2.1 million people through an agent network.
Mobile can help farmers improve agricultural productivity by giving them access to basic nancial services, new agricultural techniques and new markets, in turn helping them to secure better prices for crops and a better return on investments. As their income improves with each harvest, they can invest in better seeds, fertiliser and chemicals.
The greatest potential for improving farmers’ income comes from access to nancial payments and agricultural information via mobile, together delivering approximately 75% of the total increase in agricultural income.
Improving the lives of farmers could have a particular impact on women. Over half of agricultural workers are women23 and in some countries as many as 70%24.
Despite women’s substantial contribution – they produce around half the world’s food – rural women in developing countries often have less access than men to education or training, and fewer rights to land. The solutions outlined in this report have the potential to boost women’s productivity in agriculture, but to achieve this potential, they must be tailored to women’s specific needs and must be marketed in ways that appeal to women.
Mobile telecommunications can also help food growers, buyers, distributors and exporters to trade with each other, help them track the movements of agricultural inputs and food items, and help companies to increase transport effciency.
Innovative solutions through the mobile service industry now provides smallholder farmers with access to information and affordable financial services - appropriate savings, credit, microinsurance. Technology is advancing financial inclusion for smallholder farmers - distribution of fertilizers and digitization of payments resulting in price transparency, lower transaction costs for loans, more convenient access to credit, savings and payment options. Learn More
Digital technologies have enormous power to change the way farmers will grow food in the future. In Africa, where farmers struggle in a harsh environment to grow crops with irrigation as efficiently as possible, sensors to measure soil moisture are being used to assist with farm decisions. A simple digital device is helping to grow more food with less water, overcome community conflicts over water, and creating jobs for rural poor.
Mojaloop is open-source software for creating interoperable payments platforms that connect all digital financial providers and customers. It was designed by a team of tech and fintech innovators, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to make digital financial systems more integrated and inclusive, especially in developing markets where many people don't have access to basic services like bank accounts and payment cards. Learn More
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