Finger on the pulse

  • 8 Jul 2024
  • < 1
  • 〜 by Shammah Sirima


Using mobile money to trade across Africa – a fast track to economic integration

For over 60 decades, from the Mali Empire through to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Summit of May 1963 and incrementally to date, African unity has remained but a collective dream. One that has been sustained more by a recognition of its essence rather than a conviction for its manifestation. In 2021, with the coming into being of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Africa began taking clear, deliberate steps of greater conviction towards building the world’s largest single market in terms of member states. The challenges are, of course, many and varied.

But, if there is one practical instrument that can now ensure the desire to bring our 55 nations and 1.4 billion people together, then that should be our telecommunication handset. By that, I mean the exponential heights of financial inclusion to which the technology of mobile money has taken Africa. In short, Africa has, at long last, discovered a fast track to unification, and that is the digital economy.

Africa is witnessing a remarkable digital revolution in current times, particularly in the financial sector. Mobile money, a service that allows people to transfer money and make payments using their mobile phones, has become a necessity of daily life for millions of Africans. 

 According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the value of mobile money transactions reached $834 billion in 2022, and as of 2023, over 500 million consumers registered for mobile money across the continent.


(The Independent)