Digital technology role in achieving financial inclusion via Sudanese microfinance mobile banking adoption (Prof. Elsadig Musa Ahmed and Anwar Ammar, Multimedia University, Malaysia)

Prof. Elsadig Musa Ahmed, Multimedia University, Malaysia
Abstract: In several incidents, digital technologies boosted growth, expanded opportunities, and improved service delivery. Their aggregate impact has fallen short and is unevenly distributed. For digital technologies to benefit everyone everywhere requires closing the remaining digital divide, especially in interment access. But greater digital adoption will not be enough. In this respect, financial inclusion refers to guaranteeing households and businesses, notwithstanding of income levels access and use suitable financial services needed.
Purpose: This study attempts to apply one of the most significant knowledge economy drivers Information and Communications Technology (ICT) applications for mobile banking (M-bank) adoption by both customers and Microfinance Services Providers (MFPs) to increase the outreach of Sudanese microfinance sector services.
Design/methodology/approach: This research tries to examine the factors that influence the adoption of M-banking by microfinance sector in Sudan. In this respect, hypotheses were developed guided by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and Technology-organization-Environment (TOE) models. Primary data were collected from MFPs and microfinance customers in Sudan using both quantitative and qualitative (questionnaires and interviews) approaches.
Findings: Access to financial service has become a key phenomenon for economic development and poverty alleviation. Microfinance is one way of fighting poverty in Sudan, where most citizens are in need to it. However; despite of the initial results showing a positive impact of microfinance on the livelihood of low income people in Sudan, around 8 million of the Sudanese poor people are excluded from microfinance services. One potential remedy for the limited outreach of microfinance in Sudan may lie within enhancing the capacity of microfinance services providers (MFPs) in the utilisation of modern technology. The recent innovation in providing financial services in convenient and efficient way is the use of M-banking technology in microfinance. M-banking promises to increase the efficiency and outreach of microfinance services in developing countries. The main findings are that Mbanking adoption intention by microfinance customers was strongly influenced by four major factors, effort expectancy, performance expectancy, perceived creditability, and self-efficacy. Besides, age, gender, education level, income and previous mobile experience were found to have a moderating effect on the customer mode.
Originality: The results of the study lead to the conclusion that the government, regulatory authorities, and other related agencies should consider the highlighted technology, organisational and external factors for businesses, and the identified behavioral dimensions and perceptions for consumers when strategising their plan to expedite the Sudanese microfinance sector migration to m-banking.
Keywords: Knowledge economy, ICT, mobile banking, Sudanese microfinance sector

Human resources in Sudan: from personnel management to people management (Reem Faysal, British Petroleum, UK)

Reem Faysal, British Gas, UK
The aim of this paper is to look into the wider opportunities for developing the key asset for the economy – its people! With the current changes and developments in Sudan, the need is more than ever, calling for leadership assessment, women empowerment, talent development, and many other areas that require a strong Human Resources (HR) cadre to facilitate. It is evident that HR in Sudan is till in its simple state of Personnel Management, looking at contracts and absence management, whereas what is needed is the drive into people management. There is a huge gap between the capacity building and education offered in the labour market, versus what is required by the different organizations in the public and private sector. This has resulted in expatriation on both ends of the balance scale, with Sudanese moving to find work abroad, and expats coming to Sudan. This inadequate supply and demand balance has increased the rate of unemployment, hence the economic building of Sudan. The education system, as well as the Sudanese culture and mindset have contributed to this retardation. The lack of soft skill and leadership capability has been more visual in the last few months, all of which call for strong facilitation and management of HR practices, and practitioners, who play a huge role in the management of change, engagement and talent spotting. The current revolution has brought into focus amazing talent that is thriving for opportunities to grab. There are many set backs that can pull us back, but we will focus on opportunities that can drive us forward in building a vision that is enabled through positive culture and strong values, which will allow Human Resources Management to play its key role in capacity building, through identification, assessment, development and deployment of youth and the Sudanese workforce. This in turn will link into Sudan’s people strategy, hence enriching economic growth.