Mobile Money Operations; a Panacea for Unemployment in Africa

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The high rate of unemployment is, one of the things affecting the growth and fast development across the continent of Africa.

Some of the reasons we have a lot of people in the class of unemployment in Nigeria today include bad leadership, unfavorable government policies, etc.

The rate of unemployment, within the young people in Sub-Sahara Africa, stands at around 23.5%, of the about 38.1% of the poor working population.

“Over 63 % of the total working-age population of the continent participates in the labour market, although the participation rate ranges from 46% in Northern Africa to 68% in Sub-Saharan Africa”, stated Cynthia Olonjuwon, ILO Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Africa, while speaking on Africa’s Social Development, Labor and Employment Ministerial Conference, in Addis Ababa, on April 4, 2019.

Diverse solutions have been proffered, to manage the growing menace of unemployment on the African continent, but one headway that seems more promising is, taking advantage of technological innovations to create employment possibilities for the teeming unemployed.

Technological innovations in Africa has, no doubt, provided a baseline, for massive growth and created a tech-savvy ecosystem, through which, the issue of unemployment is, gradually, being dealt with.

One of such technological innovations that have opened a new market and employment possibilities, on the African continent is mobile money.

According to a GSMA report, with more than a decade into the creation of mobile money, transactions, to the value of $1.3 billion per day, were done in 2018 alone. Now, this is huge.

This is a sector that has employed a lot of the erstwhile, unemployed on the continent.

On average, a single mobile money user can run transactions, reaching $300 in a single month.

The industry is growing and it has been estimated that the mobile money ecosystem, will average the growth of 20% per year and with this growth, comes massive employment opportunities.

Many people in Africa, have acquired a source of income, via the offering of services in mobile money.

Without a bank account, an individual can, still, carry out financial services.

The mobile money sector has disrupted the traditional brick and mortar banking business and has ensured that people can send and receive money, seamlessly, from anywhere in the world, without the traditional bank’s red tapes.

Mobile money presents two employment opportunities and these include the options of, either, becoming an agent becoming an entrepreneur that provides payment gateways.

In Africa, MTN’s platform has been able, to provide over 120 000 MTN mobile money merchants, with an increase in their revenue.

In Kenya, a study, conducted between 2008 and 2014, by Suri and Jack, has shown that, the M-Pesa, a money transfer, financing and microfinancing service, through the mobile phone, has lifted 194,000, which represents 2% of the households in Kenya.

There are many other mobile money platforms, scattered across Africa and this sector, can only get bigger and providing more employment opportunities, for the teeming unemployed on the African continent.

Featured Image: thebusinesswatch

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