mobile phones

Mobile-phone group seals deal to be bank for millions in Africa

Title: Mobile-phone group seals deal to be bank for millions in Africa
Author: Richard Wray
Source: guardian.co.uk
Publisher: Guardian News and Media Limited
Date published: 13/08/2009
Date accessed: 14/08/2009
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
" Mobile-phone banking group Monitise has signed a deal that will bring financial services to millions of people in Africa for the first time...Monitise and Paynet, which also runs the PesaPoint network of cash machines and in-store payment machines across Kenya, hope to start offering mobile phone banking services early next year...After years of development with the cash-machine operator Link in the UK, Monitise, which in June signed a landmark deal with Visa, has produced a mobile banking service that claims to be as secure as an cash dispenser network...As well as traditional services, such as checking balances or moving money between accounts, Monitise's system allows people without a bank account to fill a "mobile-phone wallet" with cash to pay bills or send money to relatives."

African Women and ICTs

Title: African Women and ICTs. Investigating technology, gender and empowerment
Editors: Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb
Pages: 233 pp.
ISBN: 9781848131927 (paperback)
Publisher: Zed Books, International Development Research Centre
Date published: 15/03/2009
Date accessed: 22/07/2009
Type of information: scholarly book
Language: English
On-line access: Only table of contents
Abstract:
About the Book
The revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has vast implications for the developing world, but what tangible benefits has it brought, when issues of social inclusion and exclusion, particularly in the developing world, remain at large? In addition, the gender digital divide is growing in the developing world, particularly in Africa - so what does ICT mean to African women?

African Women and ICTs explores the ways in which women in Africa utilize ICTs to facilitate their empowerment; whether through the mobile village phone business, through internet use, or through new career and ICT employment opportunities. Based on the outcome of an extensive research project, this timely book features chapters based on original primary field research undertaken by academics and activists who have investigated situations within their own communities and countries. The discussion includes such issues as the notion of ICTs for empowerment and as agents of change, ICTs in the fight against gender-based violence, and how ICTs could be used to re-conceptualize public and private spaces.

ICT policy is currently being made and implemented all over Africa, but the authors argue that this is happening mostly in the absence of clear knowledge about the ways gender inequality and ICTs are impacting each other and that by becoming alert to a gender dimension in ICT developments at an early stage of the information revolution, we may be able to prevent greater scaled undesirable effects in the future.

Contents
Preface

Introduction - Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb
1. Doing research with women for the purpose of transformation - Ineke Buskens

PART 1: ICT tools: Access and Use
2. Women's use of information and communication technologies in Mozambique: A tool for empowerment? - Gertrudes Macueve, Judite Mandlate, Lucia Ginger, Polly Gaster and Esselina Macome
3. Considering ICT use when energy access is not secured: A case study from rural South Africa - Jocelyn Muller
4. Women's use of cell phones to meet their communication needs - A study of rural women from northern Nigeria - Kazanka Comfort and John Dada
5. Egyptian women artisans facing the demands of modern markets: Caught between a rock and a hard place - Leila Hassanin

PART 2: Female Only ICT Spaces: Perceptions and Practices
6. When a gender-blind access policy results in discrimination: Realities and perceptions of female students at the University of Zimbabwe - Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Elizabeth Mlambo, Precious Mwatsiya
7. An alternative public space for women: The potential of ICTs - Leila Hassanin
8. Using ICTs to act on hope and commitment: The fight against gender violence in Morocco - Amina Tafnout and Aatifa Timjerdine
9. The names in your address book: Are mobile phone networks effective in advocating for women's rights in Zambia? - Kiss Abraham

PART 3: Using ICTs: Making Life Better?
10. Mobile phones in a time of modernity: The quest for increased self-sufficiency amongst women fishmonger and fish processors in Dakar - Ibou Sane and Mamadou Balla Traore
11. Women entrepreneurs in Nairobi: Examining and contextualizing women's choices - Alice Wanjira Munyua
12. Internet use among women entrepreneurs in the textile sector in Douala, Cameroon: self-taught and independent - Gisele Yitamben and Elise Tchinda
13. ICTs as an agent of change: A case of grassroots women entrepreneurs in Uganda - Susan Bakesha, Angela Nakafeero and Dorothy Okello
14. The mobile pay phone business: A vehicle for rural women's empowerment in Uganda - Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo

PART 4: Creating New Realities
15. Professional women empowered to succeed in Kenya's ICT sector - Okwach Abagi, Olive Sifuna, Salome Awuor Omamo
16. Reflections on the mentoring experiences of ICT career women in Nairobi, Kenya: Looking in the mirror - Salome Awuor Omamo
17. Our journey to empowerment: The role of ICT - Ruth Meena and Mary Rusimbi

Epilogue - Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb

PAIDF invests $97.4 mln in Essar Telecom Kenya

Title: PAIDF invests $97.4 mln in Essar Telecom Kenya
Author: Wang Guanqun
Source: www.chinaview.cn
Publisher: Xinhua
Date published: 30/06/2009
Date accessed: 03/07/2009
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF) has invested 7.5 billion Kenyan shillings(about 97.4 million U.S. dollars) in Essar Telecom Kenya (ETK), the country’s fourth mobile phone operator to expand its East Africa operations.

ETK said in a statement issued on Tuesday that it already has about 400,000 subscribers on its network in Nairobi and Mombasa and it expects this number to grow significantly as it completes it roll out across Kenya by end of the year.

Warana Unwired: Replacing PCs with Mobile Phones in a Rural Sugarcane Cooperative

Title: Warana Unwired: Replacing PCs with Mobile Phones in a Rural Sugarcane Cooperative
Authors: Rajesh Veeraraghavan, Naga Yasodhar, Kentaro Toyama
Pages: 16 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
e-ISSN: 1544-7537
Source: Information Technologies and International Development, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 2009, 81–95
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication
Date published: 2009
Date accessed: 26/06/2009
Type of information: research paper
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
In this article, we present what we believe to be the first documented experiment to replace an existing PC-based system—one that had a goal of “bridging the digital divide” for an agricultural district—with a mobile phone-based system in which a small, but relevant amount of data is transferred to farmers via SMS (short message service) text messaging. Rural PC projects meant to serve socio-economic development are plentiful, but, in many cases, the PCs are overkill and cost too much to maintain. Warana Unwired sought to replace just such a PC-based system for managing information in a sugarcane cooperative in rural Maharashtra with an SMS-based mobile phone system. In an eight-month trial involving seven villages, Warana Unwired successfully replicated all of the PC-based functionality and was found to be less expensive, more convenient, and more popular with farmers than the previous PC-based system. This article discusses the early investigations of the Warana Wired Village Project that led to the conception and implementation of the Warana Unwired project. The new system is described in detail, and results, both quantitative and qualitative, are analyzed.

Can Mobile Internet Help Alleviate Social Exclusion in Developing Countries?

Title: Can Mobile Internet Help Alleviate Social Exclusion in Developing Countries?
Authors: Wallace Chigona, Darry Beukes, Junaid Vally, Maureen Tanner
Pages: 16 pp.
ISSN: 1681-4835
Source: EJISDC (2009) 36, 7, 1-16
Publisher: The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries
Date published: 2009
Date accessed: 22/06/2009
Type of information: research article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
Research has shown that traditional Internet has not been successful in alleviating social exclusion in developing country. Since a significant number of the population in developing countries use mobile phones, others have suggested that mobile internet may be the solution to the problem. However, to date there has not been empirical studies in developing countries to explore that possibility. This study aims therefore to explore whether the mobile internet may be a viable option for addressing social exclusion in a developing country context. Data for the study was gathered using semi-structured interviews with socially excluded individuals and the data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings of the study show that usage of mobile internet amongst the socially excluded is low mainly because internet-capable cell phones are still beyond the reach of the socially excluded and because of limited awareness of what mobile internet is and what it can achieve. The study also shows that while mobile internet has significant impact in addressing exclusion from social participation, its impact on economic as well political dimensions of exclusions is still limited.

mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World

Title: mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World
Author: Vital Wave Consulting
Pages: 70 pp.
Publisher: UN Foundation-Vodafone Foundation Partnership
Date published: 2009
Date accessed: 19/06/2009
Type of information: research publication
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf, 4,3mb)
Abstract:
Mounting interest in the field of mHealth - the provision of health-related services via mobile communications - can be traced to the evolution of several interrelated trends. In many parts of the world, epidemics and a shortage of healthcare workers continue to present grave challenges for governments and health providers. Yet in these same places, the explosive growth of mobile communications over the past decade offers a new hope for the promotion of quality healthcare. Among those who had previously been left behind by the ‘digital divide,’ billions now have access to reliable technology.

There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the potential of mobile communications to radically improve healthcare services—even in some of the most remote and resource-poor environments. mHealth for Development discusses issues at the heart of the rapidly evolving intersection of mobile phones and healthcare. It summarizes mHealth’s scope and implementation across developing regions, the health needs to which mHealth can be applied, and the mHealth applications that promise the greatest impact on heath care initiatives. The report examines the building blocks required to make mHealth more widely available through sustainable implementations.

mHealth for Development surveys the current landscape of mHealth, including profiles of over 50 mHealth programs across 26 developing countries. mHealth project application areas include education and awareness, remote data collection, remote monitoring , communication and training for healthcare workers, disease and epidemic outbreak tracking, and diagnostic and treatment support.

Beyond Subscriptions: Actual Ownership, Use and Non-Use of Mobiles in Developing Countries

Title: Beyond Subscriptions: Actual Ownership, Use and Non-Use of Mobiles in Developing Countries
Author: Richard Heeks
Publisher: ICTs for Development (blog)
Date published: 22/03/2009
Date accessed: 18/06/2009
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
As widely reported, the number of mobile phone subscribers in the world passed the four billion mark at some point around the end of 2008, in a global population of around 6.7bn of whom about 80% (5.4bn) live in developing countries.
At first sight, that might suggest that 60% (4 / 6.7) of the world’s population has a mobile phone...BUT . . . These figures have a number of problems. I summarise below what little I have found:...
* Actual Ownership: First, mobile subscription figures are overestimates of in-country mobile ownership for at least four reasons...
* Actual Use: Second, mobile subscription figures are underestimates of in-country mobile phone access and use for at least two reasons:...
* Levels of Non-Use: Thirdly, how many people still do not use a phone?

Mobile Opportunities: Poverty and Mobile Telephony in Latin America and the Caribbean

Title: Mobile Opportunities: Poverty and Mobile Telephony in Latin America and the Caribbean
Authors: Hernán Galperin, Judith Mariscal
Pages: 18 pp.
Publisher: DIRSI
Date published: November 2007
Date accessed: 18/06/2009
Type of information: research publications
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf, 7,5mb)
Abstract:
Access to telephony for low-income groups is largely based on different strategies of mobile
telephony usage. The main goal of this research project is to explore the strategies employed by the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean to access and use mobile telephony services, as well as to identify the major market and regulatory barriers for increased penetration and usage. More generally, it seeks to contribute to the discussion on how access to mobile telephony contributes to improving the livelihoods of the poor – what we call mobile opportunities.

ICT access and usage in Africa

Title: ICT access and usage in Africa
Authors: Alison Gillwald and Christoph Stork
Pages: 45 pp.
ISBN: 2073-0845
Series: Towards Evidence-based ICT Policy and Regulation: Volume One 2008 Policy Paper Two
Publisher: ResearchICTAfrica (RIA)
Date published: 2008
Date accessed: 18/06/2009
Type of information: research publication
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf, 3,7mb)
Abstract:
This paper reports on the findings of the second household and individual user survey of access and usage conducted by RIA between 2007 and 2008 across 17 African countries. It builds on the first household survey conducted by RIA in 2004/5 and a number of subsequent supply-side studies that have demonstrated that across the continent, even where there has been overall sector growth, sector performance has been sub-optimal. For the most part, the primary national policy objectives of delivering affordable access to telecommunications have not been met.

What the studies confirm is that mobile telephony is addressing the gap between those who have voice services and those who do not. However, the divide between those able to access the Internet and the range of enhanced services that have become necessary for effective citizenry and consumer participation, and those not able, has widened. This is not only as a result of limited access but also due to the high cost of communications that not only inhibits access but also constrains individual communication and inflates the input cost to business.

Mobile Phones and Financial Services in Developing Countries: A Review of Concepts, Methods, Issues, Evidence and Future Research Directions

Title: Mobile Phones and Financial Services in Developing Countries: A Review of Concepts, Methods, Issues, Evidence and Future Research Directions
Author: Richard Duncombe and Richard Boateng
Pages: 35 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-905469-04-8
Series: Manchester Centre for Development Informatics Working Paper 37
Publisher: Institute for Development Policy and Management, SED, University of Manchester
Date published: 2009
Date accessed: 18/06/2009
Type of information: research publications
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf, MS Word)
Abstract:
Research concerning mobile phones and financial services in developing countries has undergone rapid growth in recent years. This paper seeks to improve understanding of this expanding research area and in so doing consider the potential for mobile phone applications for the delivery of financial services for the poor.

The current state of knowledge is assessed by reviewing the content of 43 research articles drawn from both peer-reviewed academic journals and non-peer reviewed studies and other practitioner-orientated sources. A framework is developed that categorises and analyses the research according to a socio-technical spectrum, identifying levels of analysis and differentiating research activity according to a lifecycle model that incorporates financial needs, design and applications, adoption and adaptation, and impact.

Positive aspects of research to-date are identified, most noticeably the high level of practitioner involvement in research publication and the strong links that have been forged between the mobile phone industry and the research community. This, however, has also caused research to become too narrowly defined and largely a- theoretical.

Hence, research weaknesses and gaps are also identified suggesting that issues relating to financial needs and the measurement of impacts have been comparatively neglected, whilst application design and adoption have received greater attention. Emphasis tends to be on devices and new ways to deliver services, but ignores the broader context of financial services for the poor and tends to be technology-led. In order to correct this imbalance in research, the paper identifies key research gaps relating to concepts, methodologies, issues addressed and evidence presented and provides pointers to future research directions.

See also:
Educator's guide to student questions for this paper.

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