The Star (Nairobi)

17 December 2012

Kenya: Study Links Mobile Money With Clean Air

Mobile money transfer solutions have huge potential to reduce effects of climate change new global study has shown.

The report revealed that the innovation can contribute in cutting global greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5 per cent and saving up to $1.9 trillion annually.

The report titled SMARTer2020, was conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It showed that large amounts of emissions are generated as a result of unnecessary travel to access banking services in Africa.

This includes emissions from the use of private and public transportation and, in the long run, additional road infrastructure, more public vehicles, and increased banking infrastructure requirements.

In Kenya for example, there are 6.5 million subscribers who currently carry out 10 million banking transactions per day, with an average value of USD 20. The calculated environmental impact is 22 kgCO2 per subscriber per year.

If this level of mobile money penetration and emissions reductions in Kenya holds for the rest of the continent, mobile money would reach 161.3 million consumers and would yield 3.55 Metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions reductions in Africa alone.

"Mobile network providers play an active role in fostering the adoption of mobile money to contribute to emission reduction. Network providers have proven to be more accessible than banks; they are in a better position to leverage mobile money as a way to positively impact the environment," said Mwambu Wanendeya, Ericsson Vice president and head of communications Africa. Ericsson is one of the largest global builders for ICT enabled solutions for telcom operators.

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