Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Effect of Cell Phone Coverage and Political Violence in Africa

English: Motorola L71 (China Mobile customised...
Cell phone use in Africa has increased significantly in recent years; its nearly 649 million mobile users in 2011 made it the second-largest market for mobile phones in the world after Asia.

Furthermore, the continent has the fastest-growing cell phone market in the world, maintaining an annual growth rate of almost 20% since 2007. This has substantially contributed to economic development within the continent as a result of various innovations and improvements, from mobile banking to faster communications between merchants and customers, as the World Bank notes.

In Kenya, the success of the mobile banking system M-pesa has opened the door for a multitude of mobile phone tech startups, prompting some to refer to the country as the “Silicon Savannah.” (It should be noted, however, that mobile phone technology in Africa frequently does not afford robust Internet access, with all its innovation potential.)

The benefits of mobile technology in other regions are widely hailed. The availability of cell phones and use of social media is often credited with playing a key role in the Arab Spring, which toppled dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia, and sparked protest movements throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Read more >>
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