Mobile technology contribution to the sustainable development goals

Mobile technology contribution to the sustainable development goals

Mobile technology contribution to the sustainable development goals

In 2020, five years have passed since the adoption of the SDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals. That means that for instance we only have ten years left to reach them. While significant progress has been made since 2015, governments and the international community have recognized that the world is not on track to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important digital technologies are to societies and economies around the world. With more than 5 billion people using mobile phones and 7 billion people covered by a mobile network, the mobile technology reach is beyond comparison.


Mobile devices are the key to access services that improve life

Mobile technology provides people with an exceptional platform to access essential communications and life-enhancing services. As more and more people use mobile devices each year, the industry continues to increase its impact on the 17 SDGs.

Just to remind you, the 17 SDGs are the following:

  1. Eradicate poverty.
  2. Zero hunger
  3. Guarantee health and well-being
  4.  Inclusive and equitable quality education
  5. Gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
  6. Clean water and sanitation
  7. Affordable and clean energy
  8. Decent work and economic growth
  9. Industry, innovation, and sustainable infrastructure.
  10. Reduce inequalities between and within countries.
  11. Sustainable cities and communities.
  12. Responsible consumption and production.
  13. Climate action
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources
  15. Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems
  16. Peace, justice, and solid institutions
  17. Strengthen alliances to achieve these objectives

Of course, the mobile industry has an impact on these objectives, the GSMA Report on the impact of the mobile industry on the SDGs developed them widely, we refer to it below by focusing on Goal 1 of eradicating poverty.

mobile technology un

Sustainable development goal 1. The elimination of poverty

SDG 1 focuses on eradicating poverty, providing equal access to economic resources, and building the resilience of the poor. While global extreme poverty stood at 8.2% in 2019, a decline from 15.7% in 2010, the rate of decline has slowed down. Moreover, its growth is projected for the first time in two decades as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mobile technology contributes to SDG 1 by leading to sustainable economic growth, helping households to lift themselves out of poverty, and enabling humanitarian assistance.

In Nigeria, for example, the deployment of mobile broadband networks from 2010 to 2016 increased labor force participation and reduced extreme poverty by 7%.

The goal is to eradicate extreme poverty (people living on less than $ 1.90 a day), anywhere by 2030.

mobile technology eradicating poverty

Improving humanitarian assistance

The impact of mobile networks support reflects in the following: risk reduction, disaster relief, and humanitarian crises efforts. Partnerships between operators and humanitarian organizations can provide a channel for the delivery of humanitarian assistance via mobile money.

Besides, Mobile Enablers can maximize the impact of the mobile industry on SDG 1 through the following actions:

  • Implementing networks for the 7% of the population that still lacks 3G or 4G
    coverage. More than half of the rural population is not covered by these networks.
  • Accelerating the adoption of mobile internet in the poorest countries. 40% of the world’s population is still expected to be offline by 2025. Key barriers to adoption include digital literacy, skills, affordability, relevance, and safety.
  • Improving coordination and partnerships between mobile operators and humanitarian services and organizations, both during preparedness activities and in emergency response situations.


To conclude, mobile technology can be considered one of the drivers and key factors in the pursuit and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Want to know more? Check out our post about the importance of connectivity in a crisis.

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