The attention on the African continent has recently been drawn to the potential of its tech platforms that are driving innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation. Startups such as Jumia, Andela, VConnect, MeQasa, and LifeQ are becoming familiar to technophiles around the world and achieving forefront exposition in the most renown conferences (e.g. VivaTech). However, among this “tech craze” and its increasingly complex answers to the continent’s problems, simple solutions remind us that impact does not necessarily need to be associated with technological sophistication.

That is the case of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), sometimes referred to as “Quick Codes” or “Feature codes”, an African-specific technology that remains largely unknown in OECD countries.

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