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Mobile Phones for Development

IGC Growth Week 2010 public discussion

Date: Monday 20 September 2010 
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue:  Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Dr Jenny Aker, Ken Banks, Dawn Haig-Thomas
Chair: Diane Coyle

Mobile phones have the potential to contribute significantly to economic growth in the developing world, in both the private and public sector. From improving market information for fish traders in Lake Victoria, to enabling medical outreach services in rural South Asia, the mobile is a versatile and adaptable tool. What impact can mobiles have on those previously excluded from financial services and communications networks? Which policies will help turn the promise of mobiles into real benefits for the poorest people?

This session, moderated by Diane Coyle, OBE, of Enlightenment Economics, features a panel of researchers and practitioners sharing ideas and experience from the field, discussing a range of case studies from literacy and conditional cash transfer programs in Niger to SMS-based communications for rural hospitals in Malawi.

Jenny Aker is assistant professor of development economics at The Fletcher School of International Affairs, Tufts University.

Ken Banks is the founder of FrontlineSMS and kiwanja.net.

Dawn Haig-Thomas is director of the GSM Association Development Fund.

Update, Monday 20 September: Dr Taryn Dinkelman and Dr Tavneet Suri will no longer be participating in this event due to unforeseen circumstances.

This public discussion is part of Growth Week 2010, a three-day conference organised by the International Growth Centre (IGC). The previous event takes place on 20 September at 4.30pm and is entitled Managing natural resource rents: China and Africa. The next public event is on 21 September at 4.30pm and is entitled Industrial Productivity.

On 12 October Andrew Mitchell, the UK Secretary of State for International Development take part in an event on Wealth Creation in Developing Countries with Professor Paul Collier, see event listing for more details.

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