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Article in ICT Update

Article in ICT Update

Thanks to Jim Dempsey and his group at ICT Update for this great feature article in the December 2010 e-issue. (et en français, aussi!)

A team of developers has created a single system, called Masawa, to encourage development and delivery of information services to low-cost cell phones via mobile apps. Working with NGOs and local developers, the team will test the system in Kenya in 2011.

For millions of the world’s poor, cell phones are a primary source of information and an important means of communication. But cell phones still do not serve low-income users as well as they could. The cell phone market in many ACP countries is often divided between several network providers, and it is fragmented, with different users having different needs. Producers of cell phones and services rarely meet those needs adequately, as they tend to supply only what is already available, rather than tailoring their products to fit the customers’ requirements. The services that are available tend to be text-based applications that are of little use to people with low literacy skills.

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