Dr Gianluca  Iazzolino

Dr Gianluca Iazzolino

LSE Fellow

Department of International Development

Connect with me

English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Key Expertise
Horn of Africa, Kenya, Somalia, ICTs, Digital Finance, Informal Economy

About me

Gianluca Iazzolino is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of International Department based at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. He is currently working on the ESRC project “A Tale of Two Green Valleys”, which focuses on Data-driven agro-innovation in California’s Central Valley and Kenya’s Rift Valley

His main research interests are digital finance, informal economy, migration and ICTs. His study focuses on the interplay of technology and power. He is particularly interested in the financial infrastructure of mobility, in how information and value circulate and in the role of digital platforms in the Global South in reshaping processes of inclusion and exclusion and instigating new forms of organisation and practices of contestation.

Gianluca had done extensive fieldwork in Kenya, Uganda, Somaliland and has worked for NGOs in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger. He has consulted on mobile money and digital financial inclusion for, among others, UN capital Development Fund (UNCDF), FSD Kenya, FAO Somalia and the Rift Valley Institute. He holds a PhD from the Centre of African Studies (CAS), University of Edinburgh, where he did a thesis on Somali transnational networks in Kenya, Uganda and Somaliland. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Centre for Socio-legal Studies, University of Oxford, and a fellow of the Institute of Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), University of California Irvine. Prior to his PhD, he has worked as a freelance journalist in Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East, Russia and India.

Selected publications

Key publications

  • Iazzolino, G and Hersi, M. (2019) Shelter from the storm. Somali migrant networks in Uganda between international business and regional geopolitics. Journal of Eastern African Studies, 3,13, 371-388
  • Iazzolino, G. and Stremlau, N. (2016) New Media and Governance in Conflict. Third World Quarterly. 10, 38, 2242-2257
  • Iazzolino, G. and Wasike, N. (2015) The unbearable lightness of digital money. Journal of Payments Strategy & Systems. 9, 3

Book chapters

  • Iazzolino, G. (2019) Beyond Eastleigh. A New Little Mogadishu in Uganda? In Carrier, N. and T. Scharrer (eds.) Mobile Urbanity. Somali Presence in Urban East Africa. Berghan Books: Oxford
  • Iazzolino, G. and Stremlau, N. (2019) Hybrid governance, strategic communication and the quest for institutional Legitimacy in Voltmer, K., Christensen, C., Neverla, I., Stremlau, N., Thomass, B., Vladisavljevic, N., Wasserman, H. (Eds.) Media, Communication and the Struggle for Democratic Change. Case Studies on Contested Transitions. Palgrave Macmillan.

Media articles

  • Iazzolino, G. (2016) Once upon a time it was Kin la belle. Irin News, 3 March. https://www.irinnews.org/feature/2016/03/03/once-upon-time-it-was-kin-la-belle
  • Iazzolino, G., Bello, M. (2015) Dinero Movil. Los servicios financieros a través del teléfono conquistan los países en desarrollo del Sur [Mobile Money. Digital Financial Services in the Global South] El Pais Planeta Futuro, 15 July http://elpais.com/especiales/2015/planeta-futuro/dinero-movil/ (online interactive feature in Spanish) [reportage on mobile money services in Somaliland, Burkina Faso, Haiti]
  • Iazzolino, G. (2014) Somaliland has embraced mobile money – but at what price? in The Guardian Global Development, 19 May.http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/may/19/somaliland-mobile-money-zaad-inflation-economy-banking-remittance

Expertise Details

Horn of Africa; Kenya; Somalia; ICTs; Digital Finance; Informal Economy; Digital Platforms; Migration; Refugees; Diasporas.