Archive for October 12th, 2018

Mobile money transfers in Somalia and how it differs from other African countries..

October 12, 2018

Nice piece. Apparently, mobile transfers have taken off in Somalia in a big way.

Mobile money initially started as a simple exchange of airtime credit between users. Over ten years ago, mobile network operators formalised this by offering mobile money services. It was quickly perceived as a convenient and safe way of making transactions and storing money.

Unlike Kenya’s famous Mpesa mobile money transfer services, Somalia’s transfers are mainly available in US dollars. Though the companies offering mobile money services are mobile network operators, as in Kenya, they are increasingly forming part of large conglomerates that also offer banking and money transfer services.

When looking at the total value of transactions, Mpesa’s are about $ 10 million a month while all mobile transactions in Kenya come to $ 3.17 billion a month. In Somalia transactions are worth about $ 2.7 billion a month.

Several factors have encouraged the impressive uptake of mobile money:

Many Somalis own mobile phones – about nine out of ten Somalis, above the age of 16 own one.

Nearly 60% of Somalia’s population is nomadic, or semi-nomadic, and move around a great deal, to find adequate grazing and water for their livestock. So mobile money suits their lifestyle and is also used to facilitate trade.

Concerns over the high prevalence of fake money, absence of monetary regulation, capacity, and limited access to traditional banking services also make mobile money an effective substitute for cash.

Today, mobile money also facilitates vast remittance flows which are critical to most Somali households due to a lack of opportunities in the Somali labour market. Taking advantage of this trend, remittance companies are increasingly partnering with mobile operators to transfer funds directly to recipients’ mobile money accounts.

What is the difference with other African countries?


Documentary on Haji Abdullh: Founder of Corporation Bank

October 12, 2018

This is just a brilliant (and highly tragic) documentary (youtube) on Haji Abdullah who found Corporation Bank in Udupi in 1906. He was a philanthropist and they say charity started with him. He gave up all his wealth for public purposes and eventually died owing money to the bank he formed. It was an absolute tragedy.

Apart from Corporation Bank, he contributed to many social and economic activities in the region.

Reading the the wisdom of Leonard E. Read on his 120th birthday

October 12, 2018

Nice collection of 34 e-books of Leonard Read of I, pencil fame.

So much to read…

Tyler Cowen interviewing Paul Krugman…

October 12, 2018

Here it is:

After winning the Nobel, Paul Krugman found himself at the “end of ambition,” with no more achievements left to unlock. That could be a depressing place, but Krugman avoids complacency by doing what he’s always done: following his curiosity and working intensely at whatever grabs him most strongly.

Tyler sat down with Krugman at his office in New York to discuss what’s grabbing him at the moment, including antitrust, Supreme Court term limits, the best ways to fight inequality, why he’s a YIMBY, inflation targets, congestion taxes, trade (both global and interstellar), his favorite living science fiction writer, immigration policy, how to write well for a smart audience, new directions for economic research, and more.


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