Lower smartphone prices are driving a digital revolution in Africa, allowing phone users to access the internet at unprecedented levels. Operators and developers are also leveraging the power of mobile networks to transform services in health, agriculture, education, energy and water management. According to GSMA, the body which represents mobile operators globally, the number of smartphone connections across the continent almost doubled over the last two years. More than half a billion people across Africa now subscribe to mobile services, with the number expected to grow to 725 million by 2020.
At the same time, millions of rural smallholder farmers struggle for access to local and national markets that could lift them out of hunger and poverty. VFM is a bold new WFP innovation project that leverages the digital communications boom to improve market access and improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers for good.