The Digital Decade: Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals with Digital Public Goods

by Paula Hunter on October 22, 2020

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On the margins of the 2020 UN General Assembly, The Mojaloop Foundation recently presented at the New America virtual event “Launching a #DigitalDecade to Strengthen Public Institutions”

The keynote speakers expressed the importance of open technological innovation in government. In panel session with leading technologists, philanthropists, and digital government practitioners, panelists concluded there is unprecedented demand for digital services spurred by the need to develop a new generation of digital solutions to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The goal is to develop open source technology solutions – digital public goods like Mojaloop – that will strengthen public institutions in countries worldwide. One of the biggest technical hurdles for nations to solve is achieving interoperability across different real-time payments systems. In my presentation, I highlighted that the answer to interoperability is collaboration, which is the cornerstone of Mojaloop’s future success.

The mission of the Mojaloop Foundation is to increase financial inclusion in the digital economy – for the unbanked and underserved. We achieve this mission through collaboration.

The Mojaloop open source software was designed as a public good – to provide a reference model for payment interoperability. It can be used to overcome barriers that have slowed the spread of digital financial services.

Used whole, adapted, or as a blueprint – the Mojaloop Foundation’s open source software can be used by organizations to build interoperable, digital payment systems that enable seamless, affordable financial services between individual users, banks, government entities, merchants, mobile network operators, service providers, and technology companies – connecting the underserved with the emerging digital economy.

We are excited about our progress. Currently, there are several projects rolling out into deployment: The Bank of Tanzania is in the process of implementing the Mojaloop Platform to serve their citizens in Tanzania and important example of a central bank building out services to reach as far as possible across their country.

Mowali, which has recently gone live, is a joint venture between Mobile Network Operators Orange and MTN. Mowali is phasing in services across South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, and other countries that Orange and MTN serve.

Our efforts are ongoing to engage central banks and digital financial services providers to help them understand how they can leverage this open source initiative.

Through collaboration, we expect wide adoption of interoperable financial services, which could provide more of the population with access to critical financial tools. Interoperability, if widely adopted to digital financial services, will add as much as $3.7 trillion to emerging countries’ GDP by 2025, according to McKinsey.

To view a recording of the event is available here.