Mobile Phone Revolution in Africa

Interesting article in the New York Times about growth of mobile phone use on the continent and Andy's take.
Lately, I have been talking a lot about mobile phone use in Africa. I get asked why I encourage Africans to blog considering the fact that very few people have access to the Internet and that computers are expensive to most people on the continent. One of my many answers is that these days the Internet is not only accessible through computers, there are many other cheaper tools such as cellphones. Mobile phones are increasingly becoming affordable to most people in Africa. It is only a matter of time, for example, before my mother, deep in the village on the slopes of the mountain of Ruwa (God), Kilimanjaro, starts reading my Kiswahili blog via her cellphone. The NYT article reports that 1 in 11 people in Africa is a mobile phone subscriber, what we are not told is that in many instances, particularly in the village, mobile phones are telecenters. One's mobile phone number becomes the contact of every villager, a teacher's mobile phone becomes the school's means of instant communication, etc.

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