If you were to make a list of the most important tools farmers use, you probably wouldn’t include a mobile phone. But in sub-Saharan Africa, where 7 out of 10 people are farmers, the mobile phone will transform agriculture. How? African farmers tend to get much lower crop yields than farmers on other continents. One reason is that they often don’t have good training about what to plant, when to plant, or how to keep soil productive. Mobile phones can change that. Farmers can learn about improved seeds and fertilizer, get educated about techniques like crop rotation, follow the daily weather report, and track market prices — all via text message. And it doesn’t stop at farming. Half of adults around the world do not have access to a traditional bank account. These institutions can’t afford to serve poor clients who transact in tiny amounts. But with digital banking – accessed through a mobile phone – money transfers will happen instantly and securely, and at a cost near zero for the user. By 2030, 2 billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be saving money and making payments with their phones. And it’s a priority to ensure that women have equal access to phones. Right now, the percentage of men who own phones dwarfs the percentage of women. We must close this gap. Ensuring women reap the benefits of mobile phone ownership will improve both agriculture and digital banking, but also advance a host of other health, social, and economic outcomes as well. In the not so distant future, the farmer who uses her phone to grow and sell the best crops will use that same device to deposit the sale into her bank account. Her money will be secure and ready to spend on her family’s needs. And that means the life of every African will be healthier and more prosperous.