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MQTT and Apache Kafka: The Solution to Poor Internet Connectivity in Africa

This is the beautiful story of MQTT and Apache Kafka with the villages of Tanzania. 2G in Africa is not going anywhere any time soon. We serve microfinance banks with limited server resources in remote areas. These banks are beloved in the villages of Africa because they provide cheap loans. In Tanzania and Africa by extension, Agency Banking is the best innovation that ever happened to address financial inclusion. In this model, commercial banks contract third party retail networks as bank agents across the villages. Upon successful application, vetting and approval, these agents are authorized to offer select banking services on behalf of the banks. Bank agents are issued with POS Terminals which have the agency banking application installed. Uchumi Commercial Bank has over 350+ agents all over Tanzania. The bank initially went live with the POS Terminals connecting to the bank servers (bare metal) using REST API. However, many issues emerged. Poor internet connectivity, poor electricity connectivity(agents had to travel far to charge their POS Terminals), limited server capacity that just could not allow scalability, expensive internet bundles. Fadhili Juma will showcase and give a deep analysis on how MQTT and Apache Kafka was the game changer in this resource constrained environment.


Fadhili Juma