[Column] Judith Obholzer: How mobile money can help shape resilient societies across Africa
04-05-2021 07:37:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 2930 | Tags:

As a post-pandemic light begins to appear on the horizon, governments and civil society are compelled to re-examine our collective future.

United by the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) call for the “Great Reset”,  humanity has a unique opportunity, according to WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab, to “reflect, reimagine, and reset our world” after Covid-19.

When it comes to digital finance, WEF’s call to action means ensuring that future policy frameworks provide the right incentives for investments in technology and innovation. The importance and relevance of mobile money and digital financial services in many African countries has accelerated significantly over the past year.

For millions of people who have limited access to banking services, rural communities, families living in pandemic-related isolation and vulnerable members of society in particular, digital financial services have been a critical lifeline.

Mobile financial service providers have a pivotal role to play in supporting the “Great Reset” by investing in new technologies and service innovations that will support economic recovery and growth in countries that have been hardest hit by Covid-19. 

 New partnership models and investment certainty are critical to address the existing infrastructure investment and digital financial skills gaps. Successful private public partnerships need to be supported by progressive and flexible policy frameworks.

In exploring what is needed to create such an enabling environment, the Vodacom Group is proud to be leading the discussion. Our second Public Policy Series report “A Great Reset after Covid? – How mobile money can help shape resilient societies across Africa” takes an in-depth look at the following themes through the contributions of leading subject matter experts:

How to increase economic and societal resilience through enabling mobile money policies and regulations on the continent.

How to accelerate inclusive and sustainable recovery through innovation.

The report also supports Vodacom and Vodafone Group’s broader Africa.Connected campaign, launched in February this year, which seeks to amplify our existing efforts to close the digital divide. Africa.

Connected builds on Vodacom’s six point plan to future-proof our network and infrastructure, accelerate eHealth and eEducation support to governments, promote digital literacy and accessibility in all communities, promote digital adoption for businesses and help societies to recover from the Covid-19 crisis through increased digitalisation.

Judith Obholzer is the Managing Executive for Public Policy and Regulatory at Vodacom Group