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Mobile phone killed the laptop star?

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Presentation by Roxanna Samii (IFAD) at the World Conference on Agricultural Information and IT - Atsugi, August 2008

Published in: Business, Technology

Mobile phone killed the laptop star?

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

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