Here are a couple of revolutionary mobile initiatives in developing countries that are stepping up where governments aren’t able to:
- M-Pesa is a small value money transferring system in Kenya that relies on ordinary cellphones to transfer money, pay bills, even buy groceries without banks. The service is so widely used, with $25 million a day being transferred, that M-Pesa agents are popping up everywhere including a Nairobi slum. The system is popular because banks are either too corrupt or not interested in serving the poor.
- iCow is another Kenyan mobile services that provides agricultural information to farmers so they can better look after their herds.
- Famously, the Libyan government-in-exile formed online, and much of the Arab Spring has its roots in social media.
- Finally, ‘Cyber-Grannies’, a group of British grandmothers who take time in their days to teach children in India online via Skype!
The Internet provides people with unlimited possibilities for how to overcome government and community shortfalls, showing the power that the digital age has to completely transform the way we communicate, lead and run our lives.