Technology works for getting poor people’s problems fixed – we just have to get it right

One of the encouraging signs that I pick up whenever I travel is the difference that technology is making to the lives of millions of marginalized people. In most cases it’s happening on a small, non-flashy scale in hundreds of different ways, quietly improving the opportunities that that have been denied to remote communities, women and young people for getting a foot on the ladder.

And because it is discreet and under the radar I dare as an optimist to suggest that we are at the beginning of something big – a slow tsunami of success. Let me give you some reasons why I believe this.

Aissata lives in Ganyah, a remote village in Guinea that was hit hard by the Ebola crisis. She invests part of a monthly cash transfer in a microfinance scheme with other women, which they use to grow vegetables to sell at the market. This helps to feed her children and send them to school. Aissata’s family’s life prospects have literally been transformed by technology – because without it the social registry which has opened up these possibilities would not be able to reach her.

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