Cell Phones Spur Growth Surge in Africa

Phones kickstart development, improve standard of living, in remote areas
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2007 7:30 AM CDT
A wooden kiosk is seen on a street in Nairobi, Monday, May 28, 2007. On thousands of street corners across Africa, tiny wooden kiosks peddle everything from mobile phone cards to glass bottles of Coca-Cola....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mobile phones are revolutionizing the economic life of many of the world's poorest countries, igniting an unprecedented growth surge across Africa. In remote villages in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, people who until recently lived without any modern infrastructure now use cell phones to sell crops, summon doctors, transmit vital information, and transfer money, Business Week reports.

Cell phone towers dot the landscape in places where an entire village shared a single landline only a few years ago, with two-thirds of the world's population projected to have mobile phones by 2015. Improvements in living standards are already tangible. "The cell phone is the single most transformative technology for development," says economist Jeffery Sachs.