Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Mobile Phones and Development


The BBC reports about a new study, undertaken by Vodafone and a group called the Center for Economic Policy Research, which claims that mobile phone use is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world, and that those countries in Africa with the greatest use of mobile phone also saw higher growth rates. The Vodafone report is available here (PDF); fair warning, it's full of fairly dense academic economics prose. Read on for some of its observations and some discussion of its conclusions.

The report suggests -- but, at least in my once-over, doesn't prove -- that the higher mobile phone usage rates helped to cause the higher economic growth rates, not vice-versa. It is possible, and there's some logic to the notion: as more businesses rely on information and communication, access to information/communication technology would help trigger economic growth.

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Mobile Phones and Development


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