In recent years, we’ve witnessed unparalleled growth in the use of mobile phones across the globe. Today, there are 5 billion mobile phones in the world, with 4 billion of them in developing countries and emerging markets, often being shared by several people. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives within the reach of a mobile phone signal, making mobile phones a unique and powerful tool for delivering products and services to poor, rural communities.
Until just a few years ago, the poorest were largely excluded from technological advancements, including fixed-line telephones, reliable electricity, and access to the Internet. Today, a simple, affordable mobile phone can help provide the poor with timely and relevant information, as well as unique income-generating opportunities. For example, using a mobile phone, a farmer can find where to get the most competitive price for her crops or learn how to combat a specific crop disease ... a job seeker can connect with a potential employer in a nearby village ... a pregnant woman can find out how to care for her baby, before and after birth ... and people in rural communities can safely and instantaneously receive money from a family member working in the city.
For more than a decade, Grameen Foundation has been at the forefront of the growing worldwide effort to fight “information poverty” in the poorest, most underserved communities. We are a leading player in the Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICTD) and Mobile for Development (M4D) communities, which are playing a central role in meeting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals in 2015.
In recognition of our innovative use of the mobile phone as a tool to fight poverty, Grameen Foundation was recognized with the “Best Use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development” award in 2010 by GSMA, an organization representing mobile operators worldwide. Read more about Grameen Foundation’s approach to developing effective mobile phone solutions, or our Mobile Health, Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Financial Services Programs.