The focus was on the population explosion in Zambia, where it was noted that an increase in population in that country was not necessarily a bad thing.
Anyone who has ever been to Africa will know that the continent isn’t exactly short of space. Now, I’m definitely not an economist, and neither am I remotely a specialist in agriculture. But it seems to me, being a technologist, that there is much to be done to address this population explosion through appropriate use of technology.
At the root of it all, is mobile money, as an enabler for funds to flow more freely from the urban into the rural areas, as well as being the catalyst to enable savings – somewhere else for folks to keep their spare cash other than under the mattress.
Mobile money also stamps down on corruption by enabling wages to be paid directly into peoples’ mobile money accounts and reducing instances of middle men taking a ‘cut’. Micro Finance Industries (MFIs) also play a role in that one of the biggest hurdles facing micro entrepreneurs and farmers is cash flow. Small loans enable them to build their businesses and farms. Disbursal of loans directly into mobile money accounts, and enabling the repayments to be made directly from the mobile money accounts is a more cost-effective way for MFIs to manage their loan portfolios than employing loan officers to handle the cash.
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Liz is the author of Will There Be Another MPESA?