Mobile star killed laptop star
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  • 1. Mobile phone killed the laptop star? Roxanna Samii International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) WCCA/IAALD/AFITA joint conference 24-27 August 2008
  • 2. ICT4D mantra
    • FOCUS on PEOPLE, not technology
    • Ensure ownership and appropriation
    • Develop local content
    • Ensure language and cultural pertinence
    • Ensure participation
  • 3. What type of ICTs can be at the service of small-scale farmers?
    • Affordable
    • Scalable
    • Self-sustaining
    • Sensible
    • Participatory
    • Appropriate
    The availability and use of ICT is no longer optional A. Sen
  • 4. Mobile telephony: the panacea?
    • 3.3 billion mobile subscribers globally *
    • Integrated platform offering, content and telecom services
    • 280.7 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa
    • Pre-paid subscriptions account for nearly 95% of total mobile subscriptions in Africa
    • High penetration rate make it “universal service”
    * Wikipedia estimates as of 30/11/07
  • 5. Mobile phone: Catalyst for social inclusion
    • Point of contact
    • Predominant mode of communication
    • Reduces the digital divide
    • Accessible technology for previously marginalized groups
    • Relatively affordable and easy to use
    • Brings families together
    • Provide medical services to remote villages and monitor patients
    • Social networking and knowledge transfer tool
  • 6. Mobile phone: Catalyst for economic growth
    • Small businesses participate in the economic system
    • Access to price information
    • Communication with buyers
    • New and innovative businesses
    • Increased job opportunity
    • Annual increase of 0.6% in GDP growth
    • Minimize travel cost
    “ When you get a mobile phone it is almost like having a card to get out of poverty in a couple of years” Muhammad Yunus
  • 7. Mobile phones enhancing rural connectivity: Some examples
    • Fishers in Mauritius
      • Weather reports
      • Inform “buyant” or middleman of their catch
      • Get price
    • Small-scale farmers in Mozambique
      • Market analysis
      • Inform buyer (supermarket)
      • Get price
    • Tradenet.biz
      • Commodity price, harvest, transport, trading offers, disease outbreaks, weather and more
      • SMS and internet
  • 8. Mobile telephony growth drivers
    • Shorter payback period on investment
    • Lower installation cost
    • Subsidization of handsets
    • Pre-paid offerings
    • Continued liberalization of the telecom sector
    • Low penetration rates
    • Lower level of skill to use
    • Positive social and economic impact
  • 9. Mobile phone killed the laptop star?
    • One billion people have access to internet
    • 3.3 billion mobile subscribers globally
    • Wifi technology: internet and mobile telephony happy marriage
      • VoIP
      • Wide range of services including agricultural extension services
  • 10. US$100 laptop or $10 mobile phone: Which one will make it?
    • Appropriate, affordable, scalable, self-sustaining and sensible technology
    • Public-private partnership
    • Universal and more equitable access
    • Sustainable funding
  • 11. What is holding up adoption of ICTs in agriculture?
    • Lack of understanding and awareness of the needs and challenges of small-scale farmers
    • Failure to use participatory approaches
    • Lack of systematic inclusion of ICTs in national poverty reduction strategy
    • Building the capacity of communities and local organizations to lead and own the process of appropriation
    • Fragmented coordination among donors
    • Convergence of old and new technology to create a three-tier system: public, commercial and community
  • 12. Thank you
    • www.ifad.org
    • www.ruralpovertyportal.org