Mozambique represents a typical – if advantaged -- African emerging market; its fast-growing economy is fueled by abundant natural resources and supported by a relatively stable government.
Regardless of their ability and motivation to invest, large international oil & gas companies, aid agencies, NGOs and local companies face numerous difficulties operating in a country that was not traditionally industrialized.
A poor service economy and a largely uneducated labor force are some of the reasons why financial development does not equate into social development
On a positive note, the IT industry is relatively well-developed, with three mobile operators covering most of the country, massive adoption of mobile phones and an ever-increasing number of Internet subscribers.
As of the end of 2014, mobile penetration is estimated at 56% and Internet subscription at 7.9%, in a population of 25.83 million.
The vast majority of mobile users still use feature phones, so providing access to data services at scale has to be done through Unstructured Suplementary Service Data (USSD), a protocol for data exchange between feature phones and mobile operator computers.
We devised a three-step approach to identify for-profit opportunities that live at the intersection of highest social gain, financial benefit and long-term sustainability.