The ability to make payments on a mobile phone has transformed peoples’ lives, especially in developing countries. But what lies ahead for mobile money and its applications for financial inclusion? That may depend on who is using it.
CGD Policy Blogs
The participation of women in the Nigerian tech sector is low. In a survey of tech firms conducted by the ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development, only about 30 percent were owned by women, mostly concentrated in e-commerce and enterprise solutions. Of women-owned firms, the median share of ownership is 20 percent. Tech firms do not employ many women either—31 firms in our sample employ no women at all. The median value is two female employees per firm.
A new survey of Nigerian tech firms from CGD and the ONE Campaign brings new data on the challenges and opportunities for the tech sector.
Despite a broad recognition that increased access to financial services can bring significant benefits to the poor, catalyzing economic development, financial inclusion in emerging markets and developing economies continues to lag far behind expectations. While a large number of countries have implemented policy changes to advance digital financial inclusion, results have been mixed. To that end, we are developing a first-ever DFS decision-making tool, A Decision Tree for Improving Financial Inclusion - an analytical framework that allows a systematic identification of the most problematic constraints for financial inclusion in country-specific settings.
Information and communication technologies have been rewiring the global economy for more than a quarter of a century. However more is known about tangible goods than about the growing intangible flows between nations. Multinationals have long allocated their financial transactions, leases, and intellectual property across economies based on a number of considerations, including to reduce their tax payments. These internal transfers are quite opaque. And two newer phenomena related to the digitalisation of economic activity are making it particularly difficult to analyse the modern global economy: contract manufacturing and cloud computing.
Ethiopia has its sights set on becoming Africa’s next tech hub, rivalling Nairobi, Lagos, and Cape Town. But in its quest for digital supremacy, Ethiopia will need to take steps to create an enabling environment for the digital startup sector, which across Africa is driven in large part by fintech.
Reforming inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies continues to be an important priority for policymakers, as does instituting “green taxes” to reduce carbon emissions.
India is now recognized as a leader in digital government service delivery, enabled by the Aadhaar unique identification platform which has registered the equivalent of almost 15 percent of the world’s population. Many service delivery programs have been deployed at the state level, providing a rich comparative context. Some states have struggled to move towards effective and inclusive digitized programs while others have seemingly achieved a sophistication that is on par with, or surpasses, many developed countries’ capacities.
For all its faults, Facebook does not lack ambition. The company’s announcement last week that it, along with other members of the newly-formed Libra Association, intends to create a new global digital currency is big news for global finance and the future of money.
In a new CGD working paper, we try to measure the impact of one of the most significant open contracting reforms worldwide, which took place in Ukraine in the last few years. Since 2015, the country has overhauled its procurement system, including the introduction of an e-procurement platform called ProZorro.