A pan-African technology leader
Vodafone has had a presence in Africa for nearly 30 years. Today we operate locally-rooted businesses in eight African countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania within the sub-Saharan region, and Egypt. We also support telecom operators in Partner Markets in Angola and Tunisia.
We are a mobile data and payments leader in Africa, championing the digital infrastructure that will help individuals, businesses and economies to reach their significant development potential.
Our networks connect over 228 million Africans to a range of mobile and lifestyle services through their handsets. Only 22% of those customers currently use 4G. We are focused on increasing data usage by extending network coverage, increasing handset affordability and through targeted programmes.
We have worked to close a mobile gender gap which means women are 13% less likely to own a mobile phone in Sub-Saharan Africa than men and 37% less likely to use the internet.1 Since 2016 we have added an estimated 46.2 million active female customers in Africa through targeted programmes like the maternal health information project ‘Mum & Baby’ (1.8 million users in South Africa) and specific initiatives to support female entrepreneurs, such as Business Women Connect in Tanzania. We plan to connect an additional 20 million women living in Africa and Turkey to mobile by 2025.
We have also greatly increased access to financial services products in Africa through mobile handsets, including through M-Pesa, Africa’s most popular payments platform.
Around 1.7 billion people in the world, many of them women, still have no access to banking facilities.2 With a mobile phone and an M-Pesa account, people on low incomes can send, receive and store money safely and securely giving them more control over their financial affairs. It also reduces the associated risks of a cash-based society, including robbery and corruption.
42 million people across the DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania use M-Pesa which processes more transactions – 12.2 billion a year – than any other platform in Africa including banks.
Thanks to the development of additional services built on the M-Pesa offering, such as Digifarm, Halal-Pesa, KCB M-Pesa, M-Koba, M-Pawa, M-Shwari, M-Tiba and Songesha, our customers can also save money, utilise overdraft facilities when needed, access affordable health insurance and arrange micro-loans for themselves or to help fund their businesses. In addition, M-Pesa is widely used to manage business transactions and to pay salaries, pensions, agricultural subsidies and government grants.
In Kenya, M-Pesa has helped to lift 2% of Kenyan households (194,000) out of poverty and has enabled 185,000 women to switch from subsistence farming to business or sales as their primary occupation.
Through our Vodafone, Vodacom and Safaricom brands we are a pan-African technology leader. We continue to see the significant contribution and growth potential for our businesses as they act to build inclusive digital societies across Africa.
News & Insights
Pauline Kinja has big ambitions for Palde Farm Fresh, her grocery and home-delivery business based in Nairobi, Kenya.
South Africa’s first payments ‘super app’ promises to catapult the country towards a more inclusive digital society and will be largely developed by a local team newly recruited by Vodacom, Vodafone’s largest African business.
Vodafone Foundation is committing US$28 million (€23.7 million) to expand its m-mama ‘ambulance taxi’ programme beyond Tanzania for the first time to Lesotho and other sub-Saharan African countries.
Vodacom, Vodafone’s largest African business, has announced a further roll-out of network equipment into South Africa’s poorest region as part of its pledge to create an inclusive digital society in the country.
In response to COVID-19, most governments around the world have imposed restrictions on the movement of personnel and equipment, along with extended market closures, creating challenges for agriculture and supply chains.