Mobile's Africa ripple
Improving the financial position of African women creates a ripple effect through the family, society and the economy, Nelusigwe Mwangota, head of m-commerce at Vodacom Tanzania, told the recent Mobile 360: Africa 2017 event. Evidence points to the unlocking of a significant revenue opportunity for the mobile industry in closing the mobile gender gap.
And according to the GSMA’s Mobile Economy, West Africa report, mobile can empower women, helping them feel more connected, safer, and with access to information and “life-enhancing opportunities, such as health information, education opportunities and financial services”.
There are currently more than 1,000 mobile health services in developing countries targeting families through the provision of health content and diagnostics services. And NGO The Audrey Pack, which focuses on reducing maternal and child mortality, provide bags of free samples and information for expectant mothers to help create healthy behaviours, is now partnering with mobile outfits. MTN Nigeria Etisalat Nigeria and MTN Ghana are providing operator-branded Audrey packs as part of a pregnancy health service operated via SMS – since its launch in 2015, the initiative has reached 2 million women.
Women in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are as tech savvy as men when it comes to using mobile phones, with a majority accessing their browsers more than eight times per day to go online. The Opera survey finds that women read three times as many e-book pages on line as men, while females also spend more on mobile data plans.