small business

A Study of Connectivity in Millennium Villages in Africa

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Jan 13, 2011
A Study of Connectivity in Millennium Villages in Africa data sheet 1493 Views
Puri, Jyotsna, Patricia Mechael, Roxana Cosmaciuc, Daniela Sloninsky, Vijay Modi, Matt Berg, Uyen Kim Huynh, Nadi Kaonga, Seth Ohemeng-Dapaah, Maurice Baraza, Afolayan Emmanuel, and Sia Yyimo
Publication Date: 
Dec 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) is a community-based comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa over a five-year period. MVP and Ericsson’s Consumer Lab collaborated to investigate the baseline conditions for enhanced connectivity and integrating mobile telephony in MVP sites. It is hypothesized that this will accelerate the achievement of the MDGs through improved communication and availability of information. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, the research team aimed to assess the effects of network strengthening and strategic integration in the context of a rural village in a low-income African country.

Four Millennium Village sites were examined for this study on connectivity: Bonsaaso, Ghana; Dertu, Kenya; Ikaram, Nigeria; and Mbola, Tanzania. The survey results from the sites showed common attributes for mobile phone owners but usage trends differed across study sites. Given the results, in three of the four sites, there is a significant market to be explored for voice services to be strengthened and made more easily available in terms of infrastructure and costs. Lessons drawn from these sites can provide us with useful insights into the potential for development and use of mobile phones in the rest of the continent, in addition to providing useful policy implications.

Mobile Use by Micro & Small Enterprises

Posted by sharakarasic on Oct 31, 2008

On day two of MobileActive ’08 in Johannesburg, I attended Mobile Use By Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) by Jonathan Donner of the Technology for Emerging Markets Group, Microsoft Research India.

Donner explained that Microsoft Research conducts long-term research and development – it’s not tied directly to products. Its goals are to understand potential technology users in developing countries, and to adapt and design technology that contributes to social and economic development of poor communities.

Donners’ research focus was on tiny informal businesses with fewer than five employees. These businesses are post-agriculture and post-family farm. Example types of businesses that Donner examined include basket weaving, fruit stands, food sellers, and informal pipe fittings manufacturing.

Donner studied how mobiles have had a positive impact both in Kigali, Rwanda in 2002-2004, and Bangalore and Hyderabad, India from 2005-2007.

He found “information needs very different than those of my colleagues in Redmond.”