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Nigeria, others to benefit from UK’s £37.3 million Mobile for Development program

Nigeria and other developing countries are set to benefit from the UK government’s £37.3 million support for the Mobile for Development Program.

According to a statement released by the British High Commission, Abuja, on Monday, the UK’s Development Minister, Andrew Mitchell announced the funding support during his speech at the 2024 Mobile World Congress.

The fund is expected to help more people access mobile and digital technologies to find new opportunities and boost their livelihoods.

The program, which the UK funds in partnership with the UK-based mobile industry association, GSMA and the private sector, has already benefitted more than 100 million people and focuses on women and girls, climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience, and scaling up innovative solutions.

While noting that entrepreneurs will receive new support through the program to develop innovative mobile technology to help tackle development challenges around the world through the program, Andrew Mitchell said:

UK funding has previously helped scale up a digital hub in Pakistan, BaKhabar Kissan (BKK), which provides accurate weather forecasting data to farmers to help them make critical farming decisions such as the timing of seed sowing, irrigation, and fertilisation. With the help of this program, BKK has almost doubled its users from 6.6 million to 12.4 million.

In Nigeria, the program is harnessing AI technology to provide real-time agricultural advice to farmers and providing them with pay-as-you-go solar-powered fridges.

GSMA’s comments

Commenting on the partnership, the President of the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation, John Giusti, said:

At Mobile World Congress, GSMA also announced the grantees for its Climate Resilience and Adaptation Fund which is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. This fund is designed to test and scale up new technology to combat the effects of climate change in countries throughout Africa and Asia.

Some of the projects being funded include one using AI-powered satellite imagery to help smallholder farmers increase their yields and another to reduce food waste via an online grocery platform.