Sunday, April 13, 2008
Local initiatives that should be hailed: Mobipawa!
Below is a copy of a letter recently sent to The Citizen Newspaper Editorial staff, I believe it contains a pertinent message, one that we should all pay heed to.
I was perplexed after reading a recent article in The Citizen on Vodacom to be the first to introduce mobile banking in the Tanzanian market. This is utterly false as a local, homegrown service has already been open to the public for over half a year. The service dubbed Mobipawa is a service of the innovative, Tanzanian R&D firm E-Fulusi Africa and is functionally a superior product. It is operator independant and is tailor-made for the Tanzanian social and environmental context. It is true, the Mobipawa has been criticised for not having enough uptake in the market but this is a fault that I attribute to the mass media and the impression of foreign supremacy that it publicises. Mobipawa is a service from a start-up company that has invested immense funds and time into releasing a superb product for the market. It is developed locally, by local manpower and has been the first of its kind not only locally but globally by insisting on working within the regulatory framework. With TCRA and BOT licensing, Mobipawa is a history maker and it is insulting and derrogatory to the Tanzanian people for the M-pesa service to be hailed as a god-send as your paper has done. It is necessary, and I insist that the local media works towards enhancing pride in local developments and groundbreaking technologies in order to facilitate their sucess, rather than tout foreign, sub-par services as superior, when in reality they are not.
I urge all active media personnel to do more in promoting local solutions and the pride that should go along with them. Mobipawa is definitely a revolutionary service that should be acknowledged.
Mobipawa is truly a brilliant service, and we as Tanzanians must do all we can to support it. Its parent company E-Fulusi is also a very innovative company with some of the best minds in the country working there. Could consider it the Google of Africa. Do what you can to support these guys, they are working towards our future.