Mobile phones as a development aid – digital innovations for Africa and climate protection

Interview opportunity

Bonn/Eschborn. Smartphones, e-learning and social media are now all part and parcel of our everyday lives. From 6 - 8 May members of global ‘digital community’ will meet to exchange ideas and experience at re:publica 2014 in Berlin. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH will also be putting in an appearance, since an increasing number of projects implemented on behalf of the German Government involve a major digital contribution.

‘Digital innovations now feature regularly in our day-to-day work,’ says Christian Gmelin, GIZ expert for digital innovations. ‘Today, for example, small farmers in West Africa can go online to check world market prices before they sell. And truck drivers in China make use of an app to save fuel – and in so doing significantly reduce their CO2 emissions.’

Even simple mobile phones with an SMS text messaging function can be used for innovative solutions. ‘In Uganda we have made money transfers by SMS more secure,’ explains Gmelin. ‘That is particularly beneficial to people living in rural areas who have no bank account and for whom transfers were virtually impossible until now.’ One in two adults in Uganda regularly uses the mobile Transfer system.

Our expert Christian Gmelin will be available to give interviews by telephone from 9 am to 12 pm on 30 April 2014. Please contact the GIZ Press Office to arrange an interview.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions.