Looking at Africa’s mobile revolution from a human perspective

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Mobile Phones

We hear about Africa’s mobile revolution almost daily, use the stats to support arguments and better understand potential markets. Potential investors and marketeers can thrive on this, though, we often overlook the change happening on the ground.

iHub and Research Solutions Africa recently released a report based on six months of research attempting to demonstrate the positive impact of mobile phones in Kenya’s rural communities. Although it was completed by the end of 2012, the infoDev commissioned research has been brought back, showing the stories behind the statistics.

Together with the report, the research brought about these four inspiring follow-up tales that tend to bring about better understanding and insight. As the report refers to the so-called Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), these videos show us the social and economic empowerment of mobile phones of Kenyans living on less than US$2.50 a day. According to 2012 Research ICT Africa data, more than 60% of Kenya’s BoP are engaged with their mobile phones.

Although statistics might help determine the chances of an investor putting down his money, the big differences are made on the ground where entrepreneurs (everyday people willing to adapt) are given a helpful nudge in the right direction in simple yet significant ways.

From marketing a clothing store to making deliveries more efficient, it’s amazing seeing how well these devices improve people’s lives.

Four inspiring ways people are using mobile phones

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CNN also did an article on how mobile phones are changing the lives of Africans in a variety of sectors, from health and disaster management to entertainment and agriculture. Given this, it’s clear that mobile phones have become a source of power through collaboration and communication which are sometimes better understood via individual and specific stories rather than numbers and percentages.

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