Mobile money is only just starting to transform some of Africa’s markets
Edward Joseph Karemera, 39, a resident of Buikwe district in central Uganda, has been running a fish trading business between Rwanda and Uganda for eight years, he used to make the painstaking nine-hour journey by bus to Nyabugogo in Kigali, Rwanda which is the destination of his fish, from his stores on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kiyindi at least six times in a month. His commodities go by truck, but he also had to make the trips to receive payment for the supplies, which he would change into Uganda shillings and go back to buy more fish.
The business was becoming untenable because of the long trips, and despite working with the same customers for so long nothing could change, he had to personally pick his money.
But since the introduction of a cross-border money remittance service, his clients in Kigali now send him the money on his MTN Uganda mobile money account while he is in Uganda, he saves on the costs and his business has expanded.