Africa mobilises money
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 140 mobile money services across 39 countries, accounting for over half of the 277 such mobile deployments globally, and there are now seven markets in the region – Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe – where more than 40% of adults are active mobile money users, according to the GSMA.
And these platforms continue to innovate and expand. Mobile-enabled insurance and savings services have seen growth across Sub-Saharan Africa, with the latter segment able to boast 18 savings platforms in 10 countries. In addition, mobile credit services have made great strides in mature mobile money markets such as Kenya, with M-Shwari, and Tanzania (M-Pawa).
The GSMA says mobile money usage has generated positive externalities for other industries, especially in providing services for rural communities, with M-Kopa supplying household solar power kits sold in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and pretty much all students in Côte d’Ivoire paying school registration fees via mobile money.
“Mobile operators in the region today are using mobile money to create new financial ecosystems that can deliver a range of innovative new services across multiple industry sectors, including utilities and agriculture,” says Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA.