The Ebola crisis in West Africa has brought together aid organizations, governments and private companies from all over the world, which are donating resources and expertise to fight the spread of the disease. And although the outbreak is not yet over, progress is being made.
Last week we posted a blog providing a brief overview of surveys we have been running in Africa daily for the past 2 months. Those surveys covered Food Security and Energy in Africa. Now we are taking a brief look at Mobile Money, Health, and Media in Africa.
Electronic payments and mobile money are fast taking over the banking world in certain nations in Africa, so we asked respondents if they had sent or received electronic payments in the last week. Tanzania and Kenya, where several prominent mobile money apps such as TigoPesa and M-Pesa have emerged, had the high percentages of respondents using mobile money, 39% and 32% respectively. South Africa also had 35% who said they had received or sent money electronically in the last week, whereas only 15% said the same in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Next week, leaders from throughout Africa will descend on Washington, DC, for a first in the history of US-Africa relations: a White-House led US-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest event that the US has ever held with African heads of state. The 3 day summit will focus on African trade and business, security, health, and how to invest in Africa’s future. At GeoPoll, one of our main purposes is to research the issues most important to everyday Africans, using mobile phone surveys to directly communicate with those in previously unreachable areas. Previous GeoPoll findings include how Africans in certain countries are using mobile money, what television channels they are watching, and how mobile data can be used for food security action in Africa. Now, we are presenting findings on several simple questions which have been running in Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda.
While at a restaurant last week, the guy sitting at the table next to me pulled out a razor flip-phone. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Aren’t those in museums now?
Mobile technology has come such a long way since its development in the 1970’s. In just the past decade, the advancement mobile technology has made is astonishing. In the western world, our smartphones do everything for us; schedule meetings, manage our bank accounts, check Facebook, even pay for our Starbucks. The list keeps going, and it seems there isn’t anything our phones cannot do. If our phones can do all that, shouldn’t they be able to help us with our health?