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How mobile money is helping Africans rebuild their lives

The mobile money project is part of a program launched in 2016 by the International Organization for Migration and the European Union in collaboration with 26 African countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad, Horn of Africa, and North Africa areas.

Both migrants and their communities will benefit from the program, which aims to make migration safer and more coordinated. Providing opportunities for migrants to earn a living is one approach to encourage them to stay in their native country.

The effort, which runs from March 2017 to March 2021 in the Horn of Africa, is primarily focused on four chosen priority countries: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, and Sudan.

Moreover due to the country's recent economic upheaval, one of the issues that entrepreneurs in African countries face is a shortage of funds. Fewer than 10% of Africans have bank accounts, and those who do have restrictions on how much money they may withdraw, making it difficult for business owners to pay suppliers. Mobile money, which is sent through phone, is a means to get around this problem.

Funds are sent via a user's mobile phone with mobile money. These monies can then be cashed out or used to buy other things. The technology is secure and simple to use, with low transaction fees. Sending and receiving SMS messages need simply a basic mobile phone and a mobile phone signal. Internet access is not required.

Mobile money is well-established and a key payment method in many African nations, but it is still relatively new in most african countries, and we are thrilled to be helping to spread awareness of this new payment alternative."

The remarkable rise of mobile financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa has defied all forecasts in recent years. While Kenya is frequently highlighted as a pioneering example of digital transformation, Ghana has recently emerged as Africa's fastest-growing mobile money market, with registered accounts more than doubling between 2012 and 2017. The country's experience sheds new light on its digital transformation, demonstrating that technology can both modernize the financial system and encourage broader financial inclusion.

Furthermore, mobile-money solutions better satisfy the demands of vulnerable consumers like smallholder farmers by lowering transaction lengths as well as associated risks and costs. While access to formal financial accounts in rural areas remains low, it has nearly doubled since 2011 [from 26% to 51%]. Approximately 40% of payments for agricultural products are now done through a formal account, with the majority of them going to a mobile-money account.

Ghana is a one-of-a-kind example of a government's commitment to creating a conducive climate for innovation. Health insurance, mobile-based pension systems (see People' Pension Trust), and microcredit loans have all been made more accessible thanks to digital technologies. Micro-loan services (beginning at $2) are being used by an increasing number of formerly unbanked people. For the first time, customers will be able to earn interest on their digital savings accounts, with 24.8 million GHS ($4.5 million) in interest given to holders of electronic money wallets in 2016.

However, in a climate of low financial literacy, many people who use digital credit products are unaware of their rights and responsibilities as customers, and are thus vulnerable to fraudulent activities. In the future, Ghanaian consumer protection regulations will have to address client-protection issues presented by digital financial services, in accordance with the recommendations of the Social Performance Task Force, which are backed by AFD.

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Africans Ethiopia Horn of Horn of Africa Sudan

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