7 Ways Mobile Phones Have Changed Africa

As the technological age progresses, people are exposed to a world of possibilities through technology. As the number of mobile users outpace computer users in Internet usage, people find themselves accessing greater connectivity and influence than they thought possible. According to a CNN article, the effects of the mobile phone revolution in Africa are vast and deep.


Nokia capitalized on the growing popularity of social networking in South Africa to launch MoMath, a mathematics teaching tool that targets users of the instant messaging platform Mxit. Mxit is South Africa’s most popular social media platform, with more than 10 million active users in the country, the company says.

The potential for transforming the continent’s dysfunctional educational system is immense, as mobile phones — cheaper to own and easier to run than PCs — gain ground as tools for delivering teaching content.

It is hoped that mediating education through social networking will help reduce the significant numbers of school-age African children who are not receiving any formal education.

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M-PESA, a mobile money transfer service, was launched by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator, and Vodafone. By 2012, it served 15 million Kenyans, more than one-third of the population.

In Kenya, Sudan and Gabon, half or more of adults used mobile money, according to a survey by the Gates Foundation and the World Bank. Many Africans now use mobile money to pay their bills and airtime, buy goods and make payments to individuals. Remittances from relatives living abroad are also largely done via mobile banking.