M-PESA and Economic Growth in East Africa

Third countries still face so many challenges even as the developed world continually makes progress in areas such as technology, economy, and social mobility. However, in the first decade of the 21st Century, there has been a surge in software innovation in the third world, especially Africa with a view to tackling some of the immediate problems bedeviling the continent. No other software has had a huge impact like the Kenyan M-PESA mobile credit system.

Credit cards still remain a distant dream to many Kenyans and even others in the entire East Africa. This means that quicker money transactions are almost impossible and business loans barely available for the average citizens. Nonetheless, with the introduction of M-PESA software, life has changed. Currently, it is easier for an average Kenyan to acquire loans and even save money with the M-PESA account quicker, reliably and efficiently.

M-PESA software is a mobile credit system operated by Safaricom, one of the largest communication companies in Kenya. Prior to its set up in 2010, only banks and big credit companies could offer loans, the majority of which were barely accessible since most of the banks were located in cities and major towns. The average people in the countryside could not manage to save wisely or acquire loans for their small businesses. This was because banks were either inaccessible or charged more for their services.

It is an understatement to say that M-PESA has revolutionized the Kenyan economy; it has significantly changed the lives of millions of poor Kenyan citizens. So far, it remains a success story not just in Kenya, but in the entire East Africa with Uganda and Tanzania opening up to it. It has become the only means of sending and receiving money among average citizens across most of the East African countries, Rwanda and Burundi included, thus spurring economic growth. Concisely, it suffices to say that M-PESA software has had a major economic impact that even those who developed it could not foresee.