App economy drives innovation in Africa

More than 80 percent of market-leading organisations globally already recognise that mobile is fundamentally changing the way they do business. By providing apps and services that directly support the devices and connectivity of their core businesses, Africa’s telcos can improve customer satisfaction, decrease the cost of customer service, and generate sizable efficiency dividends to their customer retention and employee productivity.

The mobile ecosystem is therefore poised to create new economies driven by a new set of rules. Not one African nation has escaped the movement to mobile. The dynamics of mobile growth on the continent will continue to provide good study material for savants of global telecommunications, especially when you look at how mobile has helped to transform the national gross domestic picture of nations and the personal economies of citizens at the bottom of the pyramid. Read more

Nairobi is Africa’s first city to adopt Uber cash, mobile money

Uber officially announced that everyone in Nairobi can now pay using cash and mobile money starting today, after the successful conclusion of a two month payment pilot.

Nairobi is one of the fastest growing cities internationally for Uber following the launch of the cash test pilot.  It showed there was huge pent up demand for the Uber service as new rider sign-ups and referrals increased five fold.

The Kenyan capital is the first city in Africa and only the second city in the world to be able to pay for an Uber trip by cash, following a similar test in Hyderabad, India that commenced on 12 May 2015. Read more

Mobile phones have transformed life in Africa

Image from gettyimages

Image from gettyimages

Africa claims to be the “mobile phone continent” of the world. More than half of the population owns a mobile phone, while landline telephones have rarely existed on the continent. It’s estimated than just two per cent of all Africans have a landline, while in the US, 60 per cent are still connected to a landline.

It was predicted that at the end of 2014 nearly 600 million Africans owned a mobile phone, and it’s this mobile phone generation who are causing a surge in entrepreneurship.Considering that in 2000 just one per cent of the African population owned a mobile phone, it becomes evident that this increase is staggering. While disparity still exists here, mobile phone usage is helping to even out the playing field a little – for example in 2014, 92 per cent of adult Tanzanians sent a least one text. Read more

Battle between Africa’s mobile phone companies and banks is a boon for financial inclusion

A battle for supremacy

New mobile products coming into the market promise to deepen financial inclusion even further. Equity Bank are introducing Equitel, its telecoms unit, that will allow customers to access credit loans, perform cross border money transfers and send and receive money from other commercial banks, reports Reuters.

Equity is one of the biggest banks in east Africa and since the soft launch of Equitel in October of last year, the service has attracted a millions subscribers. The bank aims to increase that figure to 5 million by year’s end.

“We are removing barriers of financial inclusion, we are targeting telecoms to compete on data, SMS, voice and all levels of money transfer,” James Mwangi, Equity Bank’s chief executive officer said at the product’s launch. Read more