Magazine article African Business

Key Economic Benefits of Mobile Technology in Africa

Magazine article African Business

Key Economic Benefits of Mobile Technology in Africa

Article excerpt

A developing country which has an average of 10 or more mobile phones per 100 population between 1996 and 2003 would have enjoyed per capita GDP growth that was 0.59 percent higher than an otherwise identical country.

This is twice the size of the growth impact of mobiles in developed countries, with mobiles playing the same role in the developing world as the spread of fixed-line telephony did in countries like the US, UK and France in the 1970s and 80s.

Fixed and mobile communications networks, in addition to the openness of the economy, the level of GDP and other infrastructure, are positively linked with inward Foreign Direct Investment, and the impact of mobile phones has become more significant in recent years.

A total of 97% of people surveyed in Tanzania said they could access a mobile phone, while only 28% could access a landline. Income, gender, age, education and even the absence of electricity do not create barriers to mobile access in rural communities and mobiles are one of the most widely owned consumer assets. …

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