staying in touch with their loved ones, transacting businesses more easily,and reaping many other gains from cheap telephony, mobile phone meansmore than a new communication device to many ecstatic Africans.Indeed, cheap telephony has become a tool of empowerment, one thatis fast opening up a floodgate of opportunities in knowledge disseminationand harnessing huge economic and technological potential existing in sub-Saharan Africa.
This mood was captured very succinctly in a landmark study of the impact of mobile telephony on the social, economic andpolitical landscape of the continent:
One in fifty Africans had access to a mobile phone in2000 and by 2008 the figure was one in three. This isa revolution in terms of voice communication,especially for areas where land lines were still rare at the end of the 20
century. …this new technology is(re)shaping social realities in African societies and how Africans and their societies are, in turn, shapingthe technologies of communication.
Given its pervasiveness in Africa, mobile communication isspeculated to be the region’s second most-used information and
Development. Volume 4, Number 4, Fall/Winter 2008.
Read further in Information, Communication, and Power: Mobile Phones as a Tool forEmpowering Women in Sub-Saharan Africa;http://www.simoncolumbus.com/2010/10/25/information-communication-and-power-mobile-phones-as-a-tool-for-empowering-women-in-sub-saharan-africa/
For a cartographical analysis and description of how this technology has altered thecultural, social, economic and political space in Africa, see Mirjam de Bruijin, FrancisB. Nyamnjoh and Inge Brinkman (2009: 11-22)