Distribution Is The Real Disruption, Mobile phones game-changing agri-tech in Africa

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While emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence can capture our imagination, some of the most game-changing innovations for smallholder farmers are more modest. Seeds. Roads. Electricity. While such technologies may seem mundane, they are anything but. Reaching smallholder farmers in rural areas takes a nuanced combination of appropriate innovations, sophisticated distribution systems, and a human touch. One organization celebrated for its approach is One Acre Fund, a non-profit social enterprise working with 600,000 farmers in East Africa. I spoke with Ilana Kessler, Impact Ventures Growth Director, about scaling innovative approaches to help…

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Startups are bringing mobile banking to the last mile in Africa

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Mobile banking has provided financial inclusion for developing countries. A new wave of startups is now taking the tech beyond mobile wallets. When Ismail Ahmed moved from Somalia to England in 1988, he regularly sent money back home. He experienced exorbitant fees, transfer offices with erratic opening hours, and was often worried about how easily his family would be able to retrieve the money. In 2010 Ahmed founded WorldRemit, an online service that allows users to send money internationally via a PC or phone. Today, more than 250,000 transactions flow…

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Africa’s mobile money platform Mpesa expands to Europe

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Editor’s note: Tomorrow Transformed explores innovative approaches and opportunities available in business and society through technology. (CNN) — Snapchat may be the latest application with a new mobilepayment feature launched this week, but the idea that made Snapcash possible was spawned more than seven years ago in Africa. When M-Pesa came on the scene in 2007 — a money transfer system devised by Vodafone and Kenya-based Safaricom – it sparked a mini-revolution. With the touch of a button, relatives in Nairobi could transfer cash instantly to their remote up-country families…

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African Mobile Money platform Mpesa adopted in Europe

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Vodafone brings Africa’s M-Pesa mobile money to Europe * Launch targets 7 mln in Romania who mainly use cash * M-Pesa has 16.8 mln active customers in emerging markets * Mobile payments expected to grow rapidly in coming years By Kate Holton LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) – Vodafone brought the mobile money service that has revolutionised banking in Africa to Romania on Monday, offering M-Pesa text-message transactions to millions of customers in its first push into Europe. Vodafone said it had chosen Romania to target the seven million people there…

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Ericsson chosen for money platform in Peru

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Asbanc, Peru’s national bank association, has chosen Ericsson to design and build what is claimed will be the country’s largest private initiative aimed at financial inclusion. The aim is to deliver the underlying infrastructure over which financial services can be pitched to the country’s mobile users, most of whom do not have access to traditional bank accounts. The platform will have a staged rollout but Asbanc wants to see services generally available in Peru during 2015. Ericsson’s platform is intended to host services from different financial institutions and other companies…

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