The Impact of mobile phones in Africa

Written on July 12, 2006 by Max Oliva in Development

Max Oliva, Associate Director of IE’s Social Impact Management
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According to a recent article by the Washington Post on how for poor, cellphones bridge the digitlal divide, there are about 152 million cell phone users in Africa, up from 63 million just two years ago. This means that cell phone usage is growing faster in Africa than in any other part of the world; with almost 60% of users living in the developing world, it is considered as “the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users there than in the developed world”.
But how can the impact of such technologies be maximized development wise? A discussion regarding this and similar issues has just been started by the Private Sector Development Blog, on how to help technology help African Entrepreneurs.
A very interesting paper on “Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones” from Vodafone can help you start the conversation. It looks at potential explanations for the rapid spread of mobile phones in Africa, mobiles and economic growth and others.
Other discussions on development in Africa are Empowering Africa through e-learning. and Africa and what business schools can do.


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