June 29, 2009

Grameen Foundation and Google create mobile apps for Africa

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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, writes The Seattle Times.

quotemarksright.jpg About 18 months ago The Grameen Foundation started a project called the Application Laboratory (AppLab), with much of the work being done in Seattle through the Grameen Foundation's Technology Center.

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.

Bladin said he sought out Google and MTN Uganda to help scale up the applications and roll them out to other parts of Africa, where Google has seven offices.

The new services can be accessed by existing Village phone operators, as well as by people with their own phones.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Related Grameen Foundation news release

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