How Cellphones Are Changing Africa

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(Time) — Cell phones have taken all the world forward, but they are positively transforming Africa. Lack of infrastructure — few hospitals, landlines and roads; little power, education or running water; small banks; sparse insurance; tiny stock exchanges — is a large part of what economists mean when they say poverty. And much of Africa is a giant, dark infrastructural void, as anyone who has flown over the continent at night can attest.  The arrival of the mobile phone changed that forever. For the first time, hundreds of millions of people found themselves on some sort of grid, one that allowed them to talk to one another and the world. The take-up was astonishing. From almost none a decade ago, there are now half a billion mobile phones in Africa, roughly one for every two Africans, according to industry analyst Informa Telecoms & Media.
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