Grameen Foundation and Google create mobile apps for Africa

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Posted by Kristi Heim

Real time information about farming, health and trading will be available to mobile phone users in Uganda with new technology services developed by the Grameen Foundation, Google and telecom operator MTN Uganda.

The Grameen Foundation saw the proliferation of mobile phones in Africa as a way to get information and services to poor communities in Uganda without Internet access. About 18 months ago it started a project called the Application Laboratory (AppLab), with much of the early work being done in Seattle through the Grameen Foundation’s Technology Center. The first suite of those applications is being launched today.

Peter Bladin, Grameen Foundation executive vice president, said AppLab builds on the success of an earlier project, Village Phone, in which local entrepreneurs rent cell phone use to villagers for pennies a call. Uganda now has 50,000 Village Phone and pay phone operators and nine million cell phone subscribers.

Source: The Seattle Times (link opens in a new window)