Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mobile phones in Africa

Editor’s note: This page reproduces a table from the latest Economist showing the distribution of “Mobile Phones in Africa”. It is posted here since the cooperative blog provides a handy place to stock images, and this is we think an important one in our context here. The future of communicating in support of Gatnet objectives is not limited to expensive and environmentally destructive air travel, nor to “old technology” (mails, phone, fax and by now maybe even email). Nor even to “new technology” if by that we insist on thinking in terms of “computers” hooked up over “phone lines” of some type, etc. There can be no doubt that mobile phones are going to open up not just what is usually associated with them (mainly of course voice but also increasingly SMS) but also other forms of information transfer and sharing. Which is why we need to be keeping an eye as well on this part of our for-sure future.

The Economist introduces this little table as follows:

The use of mobile phones is booming in Africa, where subscriber-growth rates exceeded 100% in some countries last year, according to Informa, a research group. Markets in the extreme north and south of the continent are the most mature, and growth rates are healthy in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Trailing the field are Eritrea and Ethiopia, where state telecoms monopolies prevail. (Source: Source:


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