Grameen Foundation, Google, MTN launch mobile services for Uganda’s poor

MF Focus, July 2, 2009: Grameen Foundation has announced the launch of a suite of mobile phone applications developed with Google and MTN Uganda (MTN) to deliver services and information that were previously not accessible to the poor in Uganda.

The SMS-based services are designed to work with basic mobile phones to reach the broadest possible users who can access the services quickly and privately at any time and search relevant content on-demand, the way one can access such information on the Internet.

The joint initiative was undertaken by Grameen Foundation 18 months ago, known the Application Laboratory (AppLab). The five mobile phone applications in it provide real-time health and agricultural information and a virtual marketplace for buying and selling goods and services. This field-based program in Uganda is based on a partnership by Grameen Foundation, Google, and MTN.

The suite of five mobile services, provided using Google SMS search technology and the MTN network, includes Farmer’s Friend, a searchable database with both agricultural advice and targeted weather forecasts; Health Tips which provides sexual and reproductive health information, paired with Clinic Finder, which helps locate nearby health clinics and their services and Google Trader which matches buyers and sellers of agricultural produce and commodities as well as other products.

© 2009, Microfinance News. All rights reserved. 2008-09


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