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Upwardly Mobile in Africa
Category: Social Development | By RotaryGlobal, 19-Sep-2010 | Viewed 2437  Comments 0 | Original Source
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Mobile phones are transforming lives and creating new business opportunities for rural Africans

How basic cell phones are sparking economic hope and growth in emerging and even non-emerging-nations



"Precious little would seem to connect the Kenyan village of Muruguru to the 21st century. The red dirt roads become impassable in the rainy season. Only a few homes have electricity, indoor plumbing, or even a floor other than earth packed by bare feet. The villagers survive on corn, potatoes, and bananas they raise in hand-tilled fields, and earn a little extra cash by cultivating coffee beans that they dry outdoors on burlap sacks.

But a couple of years ago, a red and white tower appeared on a nearby hill. The structure is a cell-phone base station, and its arrival has changed life in Muruguru as much as any development in the past century. "I'm saving time, I'm saving money," says Grace Wachira, who runs a small business knitting cardigan sweaters in the village. Before the tower was built, she had to walk several hours to the nearest town or ride in a communal taxi to buy yarn or meet customers, and she never knew whether the person she wanted to see would be there. Now she uses her Motorola (MOT) handset to arrange for delivery of yarn and to communicate with buyers."

Read the full story here:


http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/sep2007/gb20070913_705733.htm

by Jack Ewing

From:

http://www.businessweek.com/
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