Safaricom: The power of mobile phones to foster social transformation in Africa ..

safaricom.JPG

I have long been a fan of Mobile technology bringing about fundamental change to the people of Africa (see my post The Mobile Internet will do more for Africa than Live Aid ).

Thus, I was very keen to see Peter Holland’s post about a BBC news story about Africa at forumoxford

The video of the story is Mobile continent Africa takes lead in phone transactions (BBC)

Note: link seems to work better if you cut and paste the following URL

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/nolavconsole/ukfs_news/hi?redirect=st.stm&news=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nbram=1&nbwm=1&nol_storyid=6243527

The company launching this service in Africa is safaricom

Peter says over at forumoxford

I’ve just watched a BBC feature on technology/mobile phones.

7 million mobiles in Kenya, 1 in 3 of the adult population now owning a mobile phone – Africa being one of the fastest growing markets for new users of mobiles, etc – this is probably not “new” news to anyone here at ForumOxford.

So read on…

The BBC programme showed 2 people in the same room who sent credit/cash from one mobile to another – the credit/cash showed up within seconds on the recipients phone. I.e. a bank account on your mobile – while not unique as an idea, in a continent where the easy access to a bank account may not be as simple as for many of us, this is potentially a vital reason for owning a mobile.

The report stated that “within months huge volumes of cash will be flowing around Africa via mobile phones”.

I hope that this service works and allows many the access to services many of us take for granted. This made me think that we should be looking further than we are so far (read this to the end)…. We might assume that the new killer app will appear in “our” areas/markets – maybe we should be looking further. We already know that the next killer app may not be from our age group / peer group / style group – how many of us predicted (1-2 years ago) YouTube, MySpace etc Maybe we should be looking geographically not technically. If we don’t, then we are potentially missing out on so much that our industry has to offer.

I totally agree with this!!

Maybe we should be looking geographically not technically. If we don’t, then we are potentially missing out on so much that our industry has to offer.

Image source:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/06/africa_election_time_in_congo_village/html/6.stm

Election time in Congo: There is no electricity but there is mobile phone coverage – at the top of this hill, so the villagers have cut steps into the hillside.