Mobile money start-up MFS wants to have 400 million mobile wallets by 2020 – it’s already nearly halfway there

18 May 2018

Mobile money in Africa started as a workaround with people exchanging airtime as a way of sending money. Out of this small seed of an idea has come a whole ecosystem that is both bigger than the traditional banking system but also increasingly integrated into it, both nationally and globally. Russell Southwood talks to Dare Okoudjou, CEO and founder of MFS. Mobile money start-up founder Dare Okoudjou comes from Benin but was educated in Morocco and Paris. He was a graduate of Telecom ParisTech and INSEAD. I last spoke to Okoudjou in 2012 back in the early days when MFS…


The Digital Revolution: Africa’s Broadcasters need to focus on how to reach their missing audiences

18 May 2018

The wave of digital transformation of broadcasting and the media is already under way in Sub-Saharan Africa. However with a few exceptions, most media organizations are focused on taking audience share from the existing pool of viewers and listeners. Russell Southwood argues that digital offers broadcasters new opportunities to reach those currently beyond media coverage. Advertising in Sub-Saharan Africa can be broadly divided into two categories: those goods and services that are sold to urban audiences with higher incomes (high-end cars, drink, etc) and goods and services that are bought by what Kenyans call the Wananchi (soap, beer, basic foods).…


Africa's Media Deficit and Access to Knowledge

Access to information is a fundamental human right. Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights1 (ICCPR) links the right to information to freedom of expression includes the right to information: When citizens have no access to media or only limited access to media their “freedom to seek, receive and impart information of all kinds” is restricted. Where this position exists, citizens are experiencing a media deficit that affects their access to knowledge. Therefore, this briefing paper sets out to do two things: To outline the scale and extent of the media deficit and the general factors…