Liberia’s giant mobile telecommunication network Lonestar Cell MTN has embarked on a campaign of empowering market women in Montserrado County and its environs with its mobile money transaction.
The Company says the campaign is intended to help buttress efforts of market women across the country, because often they are bread winners for their respective families hence, the opportunity was necessary to enable them learn about the mobile money transaction.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, 17 February in Old Road Market situated in Old Road community, Lonestar Cell Senior Mobile Money Manager Massa Dennis said, “Our market women initiative is geared towards empowering women in terms of financial inclusion, giving them the means to save their money conveniently to realize their daily income without difficulties.”
Massa continues, “In order for the market women to be able to save their money, and know much about this mobile money campaign, we set up an educational form for them so every market woman, who participates in this project, and do a minimum transaction within a one month period - that woman stands a chance to get 2000,000 Liberian dollars that would help to boost her business.”
She said the company is carrying out the initiative for about 1000, 000 market women in Montserrado and its environs, adding “This is not our first time providing such an opportunity; last year we did the same for the wheelbarrow union, where we gave out 50 wheelbarrows to the union and this year we thought to do seminar thing for the market women.”
According to Madam Dennis, Lone Star Cell Mobile Money is trying to empower grassroots beneficiaries across the country, saying “We registered them for mobile money, where they can easily pay for the market through the same mobile money, in order for them to know this we provided one month extensive training for these women to be able to use mobile money, and its benefits.”
The Mobile Money Manager further explained that the service is for the poor, and that is exactly why their strategy is to get to grassroots people that are in need of these kinds of assistance, to empower them. She noted that most market women don’t have access to banks, so mobile money helps in that direction to save their money, to purchase their market, and to for them to send money to their families in other counties.
“We have 10 agents at this old road market where these women can have access to mobile money services, we have also set up a platform where an agent can bring her friend; they stand a chance to a thousand plus for that recruitment.
Also speaking to reporters, one of the marketers described mobile money service as important, because according to her, they are the ones in business.
She said customers often buy from her business, using mobile money promotion, but the challenge that marketers face is lack of phone.
Madam Veronica Thompson noted that the issue of phone remains a serious challenge for those of them involved in the mobile money transaction.
“We want to appreciate Lonestar Cell MTN for bringing this service to us, no one knew about using mobile money to purchase goods, but over the past weeks, I can say many of the women in this market are using it, but we also want to call on Lonestar Cell to buy us phones as well”, she pleaded.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne