Did you know that most people have access to mobile phones than to clean water and electricity? Yes, and mobile phone technologies are indispensable in the modern world. While mobile technologies were associated with developed countries, this is no longer the case. Data b the International Telecommunication Union indicates that mobile penetration in 2017 had gone up 98.7% of populations in developing countries. Below are some ways in which mobile technologies impact communities in developing countries.
1. Mobile Money Banking and Transaction
In developed countries, a mobile phone is a useful complementary tool for economic transactions for porno. With a mobile phone, you can operate your bank account and various financial products. However, if you do not have a bank account, your phone is just a phone. In 2007, Safaricom, a subsidiary network operator of Vodafone in Kenya, launched a mobile money transfer and payment system called M-Pesa.
M-Pesa services target individuals with no access to conventional financial services. The service allows users to load money onto a sim card, send the money to other mobile users, and withdraw the balance in the form of cash at an authorized establishment. The goal of M-Pesa was to reach the most remote parts of the country, and having achieved this, every village in Kenya has some commerce linked to the system. Users can access the service even with a basic phone, and M-Pesa is now spreading worldwide.
2. The Agricultural Field
USAID launched The Market Information Systems and Traders Organization in West Africa (MISTOWA), a mobile technology project that aims to provide farmers in remote areas with accurate agricultural statistics. The technology can connect smallholder farmers with prospective buyers and ensure the farmers get fair prices for their produce. Thanks to the collaboration with Esoko (a company based in Nairobi), rural farmers in fifteen African countries receive price information, crop advice, weather alerts, and tips on how to connect with buyers via SMS. The price alerts by Esoko led to an increase of 9% profits to all farmers residing in areas that used the program.
3. Benefits to Healthcare and Emergencies
Mobile technologies in developing countries have enabled health specialists to deploy smartphones as powerful medical tools in remote areas that lack hospitals and advanced laboratories—a perfect example is the app Peek by Andrew Bastawrous (a British ophthalmologist). Through the smartphone screen and camera, the app allows specialists to check the vision of patients and aid in the early diagnosis of blindness.
Beacon, created by Trek Medics International in collaboration with Cardinal Health, Google, and USAID, helps deliver emergency service in remote regions. Residents can call their regional firehouse, where the correspondent will send out mass text messages via the app to a group of volunteer motorcyclists trained in first aid. An available volunteer will then reply, respond to the emergency and transport the injured to the nearest hospital.
4. Enhanced Business Solutions
In developing regions, mobile technologies, including data services, agriculture, business advice, healthcare, and money transfer, continue to provide huge economic and development benefits. Most micro-entrepreneurs perceive mobile phones as the lifeline of their enterprises. Mobile phones find a wide application in businesses. They help secure business deals, improve productivity, provide entrepreneurs with important information and communicate with suppliers and clients.