Maputo, Mozambique, July 11, 2012 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is launching with two Mozambican
partners an information texting service for farmers and small business
as part of its effort to improve their access to pertinent and timely information
so they can improve their operations and grow their business.
Launched on June 30 in partnership with Mozambique's Universidade Eduardo
Mondlane (UEM) and telecom operator Vodacom, the SMS system will provide
farmers and entrepreneurs free and timely information on their business
and farming needs. Mozambique is the second country in the world
to employ the SMS feature, which is part of IFC’s SMEToolkit Solution.
The SMS system involves close collaboration between the three parties involved.
Through its network of content providers, UEM will gather information on
commodity prices, legislation, taxation and other pertinent news for farmers
and small businesses in Mozambique. UEM will log the information on IFC’s
SMEToolkit website (www.pmenegocios.co.mz),
which forwards it as SMS to Vodacom and other participating mobile operators.
The telecom companies in turn send the SMS messages to their subscribers.
The SMS system provides farmers and entrepreneurs with information on prices
of their products in different markets, and on the weather and seed
choice. Farmers and small businesses can access market information on their
mobile phones at no extra cost. IFC will work closely with UEM and
its content providers to ensure quality and accuracy of the information
that will be sent to subscribers.
Orlando Quilambo, Rector head of UEM said “Launching the SMS system with
a global telecom operator like Vodacom is a great achievement in the University’s
strategy to support businesses by providing them timely information. The
system will reach the most remote farmers and business persons, and help
improve their lives.”
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for East and Southern Africa, said
“In many countries in Africa, small-scale farmers and businessmen do not
have access to reliable market information, which prevents them from getting
full market value for their products. The SMS system launched by IFC, Vodacom
and UEM provides timely information on market trends, which will help farmers
and entrepreneurs in Mozambique better price and sell their products, leading
to an increase in incomes.”
The partnership between UEM and IFC dates back to 2010, when the University
was selected as the SMEToolkit partner in Mozambique. UEM has since been
uploading information to the Mozambican SMEToolkit website, turning it
into a one-stop shop for businesses in the country. To date, the site has
logged more than 200, 000 SMEs visitors and now has about 3, 400 registered
The SME toolkit is a cornerstone of IFC’s strategy to support the growth
of smaller businesses in Africa. IFC’s interactive products have helped
thousands of entrepreneurs in emerging markets improve their skills and
profitability. SME Toolkit can be customized for specific countries and
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,
About SME Toolkit
IFC Sustainable Business Advisory Services is supporting the growth of
small and medium enterprises. Working with partners in Africa, IFC has
helped thousands of entrepreneurs access the finance and skills they need
to realize their potential. SME Toolkit is an online, interactive program
that leverages the latest information and communication technologies to
increase SME access to markets by strengthening their management capacity.
For more information, visit www.smetoolkit.org.