Before you read the following article on
the mobile phone market in Africa, try to
predict the answers to these questions.
Now read the article and check your answers.
Mobile phone use in Africa is growing faster than anywhere else in the
world, according to a report.
The study, backed by the UK mobile phone company Vodafone, said African
countries with greater mobile use had seen a higher rate of economic
The report, supported by the Centre for Economic Policy Research, studied
the social and economic impact of mobiles. Small businesses in South
Africa rely on mobiles, the report said, while Nigeria's market is
The report's positive results come despite separate figures which show the
proportion of people using mobile phones in much of Africa remains low in
international terms, averaging about 6% in 2005.
Mobile and land line networks - in addition to the openness of an economy,
GDP growth and infrastructure - are positively linked with foreign inward
investment, according to the report.
The report also said:
• More than 85% of small businesses run by black people, surveyed in South
Africa, rely solely on mobile phones for telecommunications.
• 62% of businesses in South Africa, and 59% in Egypt, said mobile use was
linked to an increase in profits - despite higher call costs.
• 97% of people surveyed in Tanzania said they could access a mobile
phone, while just 28% could access a land line phone.
• A developing country which has an average of 10 more mobile phones per
100 population between 1996 and 2003 had 0.59% higher GDP growth than an
otherwise identical country.
Income, gender, age, education - and even the absence of regular
electricity supplies - do not create barriers to mobile access in rural
areas, the report said. Handsets are often shared by smaller communities.
Stephen Yeo, chief executive of the Centre for Economic Policy Research,
said mobile phones had enabled developing countries to "leapfrog" old
Kiosks selling pre-pay vouchers for mobile phones are common
"The result is explosive growth - 5,000% in Africa between 1998 and 2003,"
"This research... provides the first concrete evidence of a link between
social and economic development and the establishment of mobile phone
Diane Coyle, of consultancy Enlightenment Economics, said many people were
finding ways to reduce the cost of making mobile calls.
"Even in very poor communities, a lot of people share mobile phones," she
said. "In Tanzania, for example, there were as many people using somebody
else's mobile phone as actually owning one."
Currently, there are more than 82 million mobile phone users in Africa.
to back = apoyar, respaldar
to rely on = confiar en, fiarse de, contar con
to boost = aumentar
(Gross Domestic Product) = Producto Interior Bruto (PIB)
network = red
to link = enlazar
gender = género
handset = auricular
to leapfrog = saltar por
to share = compartir
to own = poseer, tener,
ser dueño de
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