• Can the Money of the Future Make Poverty an Issue of the Past?

    How mobile money is changing the ways individuals spend, save, trade and exchange in developing countries

Can the money of the future make poverty an issue of the past? The recent hype on mobile money, a rapidly spreading innovation that allows to store and transfer value through mobile networks, seems to suggest so.

According to the CGAP, a research centre that promotes financial inclusion in the Global South, mobile telephony is the critical technology to "bank the unbanked", or the 2.7 billion people in the world who have no access to financial services. But is mobile-based financial inclusion the key to enhance the efficiency of small entrepreneurs, empower women and help migrants along their journey?

In Somaliland, the focus is on the penetration of Telesom Zaad, on its interplay with the traditional Somali remittance companies—hawalas—and on how it is changing livestock trade and international money transfers. In Haiti, the story focuses on how the USAID/Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI) is contributing to foster urban entrepreneurship. Burkina Faso tells a story about the gradual uptake of mobile money services among farmers.

The overall aim of the project is to look at how mobile money is changing the ways individuals spend, save, trade and exchange and to make this topic accessible beyond the boundaries of the academic, business and development communities. To achieve this goal, the story aims to scratch under the surface of figures and data and focus instead on individual stories of people whose livelihoods have been reshaped by the adoption of mobile money.

Through texts, clips and a multimedia web doc, the project aims to give a face and a voice to the people vaguely referred to in development projects as "beneficiaries."

Project links


Project information

  • Locations
    Haiti, Burkina Faso, Somaliland,
  • Duration
    7 months
  • Release date
    May 2014
  • Budget
    € 21490
  • Round