Despite the short distances (about 500 kilometers end-to-end), three international boundaries divide four distinct nations with differences in regulation, culture, wealth and established telecoms and banks. Mobile money is unevenly available. The research took an inventory of money handling practices for different categories of international travelers at the three border crossings (Ghana-Togo, Togo-Benin and Benin-Nigeria). We interviewed industry and government stakeholders and offer high-level concepts for services that might encourage use of mobile money to replace physical cash within the GILA corridor. Internet and telephone research began in May, 2012 and continued throughout the year. A research trip and in-person interviews took place in September and October 2012.
About the Researcher(s)
Joel Patenaude is a Managing Partner of J2 Partners, Inc., a consulting firm based in Montclair, New Jersey. Patenaude holds a Masters of Regional Planning degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His present clients include an e-payments company in Nigeria. Regional experience includes multiple trips to Ghana. Patenaude served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya.
Link to final research report: The GILA Mobile Money Project: Present-Day Money Handling and Mobile Money Opportunities in Greater Ibadan-Lagos-Accra, aka GILA, West Africa by Joel Patenaude
Link to research blogpost: Mobile Money Potential in the GILA Region