The Mobile World Congress (MCW) is the largest meeting point for the mobile industries. The mobile industry leaders will meet to network, display, and exchange ideas. The 2018 MWC will take place from 26th February to 1st March in Barcelona. During every edition of the conference, various mobile startup players shall receive awards. Industry leaders from all walks of life come to recognize innovative solutions from different startups. The 2018 editions will have an African startup contesting for award and recognition.
The Best Mobile Innovation for Women in Emerging Market Award category has many nominees. The nominees contesting for the award include;
- Türk Telekom for Türk Telekom Technological Mobilization
- Pregnancy Tracker’s Mobile Dimension LLC
- Girl Effect and iSON Group for Girls Connect
- MoPT&IT, Robi Axiata and Huawei for ICT Training Buses
- EcoCash Savings Club represented by Mahindra and Zimbabwe’s Econet Cassava Fintech
Econet partnered with Mahindra Comviva to develop EcoCash Savings Club. The product came to light in 2015. Since then, it aims at supporting saving groups in Zimbabwe. Any registered member at EcoCash has authority to create a group wallet. Thereafter, the other participants or members of the saving group contribute money. EcoCash Savings Club also partners with Organisation for Public Health Interventions (OPHID). Anyone is in a position to use the product. However, women are the main target and beneficiaries.
Mbereko Women’s Groups did the piloting of the product. The group comes from Marondera in Zimbabwe. OPHID and Econet have reached out to many women since the inception of the partnership. However, Econet was not the first company to bring a similar product to Africa. M-Pesa, a renowned mobile money transfer platform in Kenya and East Africa region has its own Chama. Econet only outplayed M-Pesa since it runs its product better than the latter. The excellent management of the startup gave it upper hand hence its nomination for the awards.
EcoCash made itself the largest mobile money transfer platform in Zimbabwe. This is evident from the number of customers it serves. It has also managed to make many transactions since the launch.