“Multi-Level Socio-Economic Determinants of Mobile Money Adoption in the Middle East and North Africa

Deadline for abstracts: 20. November 2022 / Expected date of publication: Q2 2024

Little research has focused on the development of mobile money systems (MM) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Despite the noted migration of social life into the digital sphere, the digital transformation of the cultures and societies of the MENA region remains under-studied. This special issue intends to shed much-needed light on this topic: namely, despite ripe conditions for MM adoption in MENA (e.g., high levels of literacy and extensive development of digital infrastructure), it remains clear why the deployment of MM systems in MENA is lower than in other world regions. The special editors invite proposals for articles about the social and economic determinants of MM system adoption in MENA contexts.

As a whole, the special collection welcomes analysis of economic and social aspects of MM use and development in MENA, including variables at micro- or macro-levels. There are few empirical studies on this topic from the MENA region, and the issue will be the first to collect articles specifically examining MM adoption in the MENA context. The special editors welcome contributions that clarify hopes and impediments to MM adoption and use in MENA. Articles should advance scholarly knowledge concerning the development of MM systems within the region's social, cultural, and economic aspects. Welcome topics include the following aspects of MM, including economic contexts, technical challenges, cultural aspects, historical legacies, embedded conflicts, digital literacy and skills, governance and regulatory frameworks, social well-being, and development trajectories.

The special issue will focus on economic and social issues or perspectives on MM adoption in the MENA region. Each article should examine a specific social issue or perspective related to MM adoption in the MENA region and related economic and social issues. The primary criterion for acceptance will be the scholarly promise and relevance of the topic. Each contribution must include empirical analysis and be theoretically linked to broader debates in economics, sociology, development, cultural studies, or related social science fields. Contributors are encouraged to offer forward-looking perspectives in suggestions for MM systems in the region, including how the study of MENA social issues or regional perspectives can help inform research and practice financial inclusion and innovation in the region.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Identify the macro-economic context in which MM systems are developed, either in the MENA region (as a whole) or in individually selected MENA countries.
  • Identify the micro-economic context in which MM systems are developed, either in the MENA region (as a whole) or individually selected MENA countries.
  • Empirically investigate some of the broader socio-economic characteristics and factors that account for the adoption of MM in the MENA region, with an emphasis on their potential differences with similar systems having been developed in sub-Saharan Africa (or other parts of the world).
  • What socio-economic policies may governments want to implement in the MENA region to encourage MM adoption?
  • Can the social and economic development in the MENA region leapfrog by adopting MM technologies?
  • Is there any empirical evidence showing that MM systems have already helped MENA societies tackle recent socio-economic challenges? For instance, is there evidence that MENA governments utilize MM to distribute securely and quickly humanitarian subsidies, relief funds and fiscal support? Is there evidence that MM enables users in the MENA region (consumers or firms) to save digitally?



Submit 500-word abstract & 100-word bio by 20. November 2022 to: [email protected] & [email protected]

Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 30. November 2022 to submit full articles by 1. June 2023.


Guest Editors:

Dr. Glenn W. Muschert

Professor of Sociology, Khalifa University - UAE

Dr. Dimitrios Reppas

Assistant Professor of Economics, Khalifa University - UAE