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New phase of the strategic partnership to support GSMA Mobile for Development’s focus on digital and gender inclusion, climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience, and digital innovation in low- and middle-income countries.  

LONDON, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A new phase of the partnership between the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the GSMA, which represents the mobile industry worldwide, was announced today at MWC Barcelona. The £37.3 million strategic partnership will accelerate digital innovation for socio-economic and climate impact and contribute to breaking down barriers to digital inclusion across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), impacting the lives of millions. 

Across LMICs, mobile phones are the main – and often only – way for more than 3.5 billion people to connect to the internet. Alongside existing services, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling development of smarter, data-driven solutions to address socio-economic and climate-related challenges.

However, multiple barriers still hold back countries, businesses, and citizens from unlocking the full power of digital technologies, including usage, coverage and gender gaps; issues with funding and scale, especially in AI, lack of available local skills and relevant frameworks, particularly around privacy and ethics.  

The FCDO and the GSMA’s decade-long partnership have positioned them at the forefront of digital innovation for socio-economic and climate impact. This new phase of the partnership will amplify M4D’s current work and impact in accelerating the digital and green transition for all.

Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell said: “Mobile technology has the potential to revolutionise the lives of the poor by helping tackle the effects of climate change, creating jobs and boosting opportunities for women.  

“The Mobile for Development programme has already benefitted more than 100 million people, and the UK’s new announcement aims to up the ambition, reaching 110 million additional people, including 60 million women.  

“Together the worlds of development and mobile tech giants can be a powerful force to unlock opportunities and prosperity, and meet the UN Global Goals.” 

Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development at the GSMA said: “The renewal of this partnership is a tremendous opportunity to continue leveraging our respective strengths to accelerate the impact of transformative digital innovation and tackle local socio-economic challenges and climate change. We are extremely thankful for the FCDO’s thought leadership and longstanding collaboration.” 

Continue reading the full press release here