BY: UMAR HAMZA S.GINI
There are more peoples using mobile phones in Africa than Europe and America combined.
Infact, mobile phones are growing fast in the whole continents, especially in regions of south Sahara desert. Today there are 600 million mobile phone users in Africa. By 2016 the number will be close to a billion.
Mobiles phones provide a wide variety of services that citizens, especially in rural areas wouldn’t have. They offer education in places where it is hard to get. Mobile phones are used for farming projects, where farmers can get information on crop prices. Health websites tell villagers what to do in case of emergencies when no doctor is available for faraway.
People even use mobile phones for entertainments in areas where there is TV. Mobile banking has become widespread across Africa because many Africans don’t have their own bank account. Over 60 million use mobiles to transfer and receive money quickly and at low cost. Mobile phones are helping people set of businesses and make money, thus raising the continents overall income. Through mobile phones, more people in Africa have access to the internet than to clean water and sanitation.
In the last ten years, the number of mobile phone users in Africa has increased greatly. While in the early days people focused on sending messages and talking to relatives, the internet is the main service that is used today. It has become an absolute necessity and in the many places has replaced the desktop PC. In Nigeria for example, there are more mobile phone users than PC- Internet users. Especially Kenya is strongly connected to mobile phones.
The country is also called silicon savannah because 92% of all Kenyans go online through mobiles. While most peoples are buying cheap low-end phones, smart phones with internet access are becoming popular too. For phone makers Africa is the market of the future. Blackberry, for example, are stagnating in Europe and the USA but making a lot of profit in Third World Countries. Many Africans can remember the days when life without phone communication was extremely difficult. People in remote villages had to travel many kilometres to a cybercafé in order to access the internet. As there were only few landline connections, ill people often died because they couldn’t get medical help fast enough.
Today, Africa is the first continent to have mobile phone than landline connections. The united nations are stepping up efforts to provide even more help. The UN’s educational and cultural organization UNESCO is helping Africans use mobile phones by holding conferences on how the device can increase the number of Africans who can read. It also offers help on how mobiles can be used in classrooms. Teachers are shown how to teach with mobiles and provide knowledge to the poor.