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Financial Inclusion

SDGs and the promise of Mobile

The GSMA’s 2018 Mobile Economy report highlights the potential of mobile in the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mobile has an undoubtedly significant role to play in the advancement of emerging markets across industries as diverse as education, health and finance. The introduction of mobile technology has already been pivotal in a significant increase in access to information and communication technologies in developing communities.

The GSMA report mentions the development of networks, connectivity and increased functionality of mobile as the three main trends which are contributing to the attainment of SDGs. The industry has, and will continue to have, a growing impact on all 17 goals as detailed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, it is clear that there is much more that can be done.

Whilst in 2016 the mobile industry became the first sector to commit to the SDGs, much of the considerable progress already made has been fortuitous. As we enter the third year of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there remains an apparent gap between the potential and current impact of the industry. The GSMA runs several programs, such as their Mobile for Development (M4D) initiatives. These initiatives span a number of goals that aim to engage the wider industry and grow existing impact, access and effectiveness of solutions in emerging markets.

The focus is shifting towards how to scale the industry’s impact, whilst ensuring that the advances made are sustainable. The biggest potential for development lies in mobile internet adoption. The positive impact created by access to the internet cannot be overstated. With an increase from 57% to 77% adoption projected from 2017 to 2025, dramatic changes can be envisaged before 2030.

Read the GSMA Mobile Economy 2018 report here.

Photo by kote baeza from Pexels

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