People, Planet, Profit
The triple bottom line (3BL) is now a well-established accounting framework that incorporates three dimensions of performance: social, environmental and financial.
I recently read that more than 50% of discarded mobile phones in the West end up in Africa. Aside from the obvious advantages of mobile phones (people), these second-hand ones (planet) also serve as income boosters (profit). Asia has already demonstrated the enormous potential of mobile phone microfinance. In fact, it played a critical role in the economic success of many of the Asian emerging countries.
By 2014, half a billion Africans, both in urban and rural areas, are expected to carry out the majority of their banking transactions by phone. Five years ago, Kenyan mobile network Safaricom started allowing users to store money on their mobiles in order to make paying bills a lot easier. Ten years later, a billion dollars worth of transactions had already been made.
According to an article in The Economist last month, three-quarters of the countries that most frequently use mobile money are now in Africa, and mobile banking has reached ‘extraordinary levels’. This may explain why Angola will get high-speed 4G services ahead of most of Europe and the USA.