Mobile Phones and the Emerging Privacy Invasion Issues in West Africa

Introduction Though it came into the continent like an unexpected visitor, the cell phone has become an inseparable companion of most Africans. It has not just become a new daily fixture in the lives of inhabitants of the world’s second most populous continent, mobile phone is fast replacing its old cousin, analog telephony. Since its arrival in the late 1990s, mobile telephony has continued to redraw Africa’s social architecture, with more than 90 per cent of telephones lines in the continent being mobile phones1. Like their counterparts in other climes, a large chunk of Africa’s estimated 1 billion people have embraced this social revolution, using this sweetheart consumer technology to break barriers that hitherto existed in all sphere of their lives.2 Because this leveler provides the much-needed template for staying in touch with their loved ones, transacting businesses more easily, and reaping

See Africa - making money at the bottom of the market, available at (accessed on November 12)

With 49 per cent annual growth rate between 2002-2007, as opposed to Europe’s 17 per cent, Africa’s mobile telephony is poised to achieve enormous expansion potential predicted for it. Identifying informational challenges as the bane of the growth of commerce in developing countries, Abi Jagun, Richard Heeks and Jason Whalley concluded that mobile technology possessed the magic wand to solving the problems militating against the growth of micro enterprises in evolving economies. See The Impact of Mobile Telephony on Developing Country Micro-Enterprises: A Nigerian Case Study. Journal of Information Technologies and International Development. Volume 4, Number 4, Fall/Winter 2008.

many other gains from cheap telephony, mobile phone means more than a new communication device to many ecstatic Africans. Indeed, cheap telephony has become a tool of empowerment, one that is fast opening up a floodgate of opportunities in knowledge dissemination and harnessing huge economic and technological potential existing in sub-Saharan Africa.3 This mood was captured very succinctly in a landmark study of the impact of mobile telephony on the social, economic and political landscape of the continent:4
One in fifty Africans had access to a mobile phone in 2000 and by 2008 the figure was one in three. This is a revolution in terms of voice communication, especially for areas where land lines were still rare at the end of the 20th century. …this new technology is (re)shaping social realities in African societies and how Africans and their societies are, in turn, shaping the technologies of communication.

Given its pervasiveness in Africa, mobile communication is speculated to be the region’s second most-used information and communication technology in the


Read further in 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 the cultural, social, economic and political space in Africa, see Mirjam de Bruijin, Francis B. Nyamnjoh and Inge Brinkman (2009: 11-22)

21st century – besides radio.5 By the end of 2009, there were 454.8 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa.6 Yet, the horizon appears very bright and promising for the sector in this developing world. Going by the latest statistics of the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, as global mobile phone connection is expected to jump from 5.3 billion in 2010 to 7.1 billion in 2014, the emerging markets of Africa and Asia will contribute the lion’s share of this projected boom.7 Out of a total 53 countries in Africa, West Africa’s 16 nations, which constituted the main study area of the current research, accounted for 30 per cent of the continent’s entire mobile technology subscriber base by the close of 2009. The remaining three sub-regions, 37 countries in all, provided 70 per cent. (See the diagram 1 below).


See Gender Assessment of ICT Access and Usage in Africa, volume 1 2010 Policy Paper 5; sourced from Research ICT Africa:

Although the global credit crunch reared its ugly head in the African telecom sector in 2009, the region recorded consistent impressive growth record, having 22 per cent growth fact sheet in 2009, 35 per cent in 2008 and 42 per cent in 2007. Read further in (accessed on November 3, 2010)


Source: Industry data & estimates c. 2010 Blycroft Ltd

In Nigeria, for example, the positive impact of mobile communication is so phenomenal that the gains posted within first four years of mobile telephony surpassed what the telecommunication industry achieved in the nation’s first three decades after independence8. Going by current statistics, Nigeria has emerged Africa’s largest mobile market, accounting for 16 per cent of the continent’s mobile subscriptions and 53 per cent of West African mobile phone users. With 78.5 million people now using cell phones out of Nigeria’s 150 million population, the access to information has been able to give democracy an impetus, transform

Read Esharenana Adomi further in Mobile Telephony in Nigeria. Library Hi Tech News, Number 4, 2005 (page. 18-20).

the lives of individuals as well as many hitherto inaccessible communities in Nigeria, having opened vistas of opportunities and closed the wide inequality gap in a country where only the few affluent used to be the only owners of telephone lines.9 Prior to the advent of cell phones in the 1990s, the state-owned but moribund (privatized a few weeks ago) Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, NITEL, was only able to provide roughly 450, 000 analog telephone lines in a country that was then peopled by over 100 million.10 Today, millions of Nigerian mobile phone users still remember with nostalgia the infamous statement of one minister of communications who, in response to deafening public outcry against prohibitive costs of owning and maintaining a land line during the era of military dictatorship, remarked that telephones were actually not meant for the poor.11 Like Nigeria, Ghana, the first of all colonial territories in sub-Saharan Africa to gain political independence from British imperialism on March 6, 1957, is

Further readings in Christiana Charles-Iyoha (ed.) 2006. Mobile Telephony: Leveraging Strengths and Opportunities for Socio-Economic Transformation of Nigeria. Lagos: Centre for Policy and Development or Nigel Scott, Simon Batchelor, Jonathan Ridley and Britt Jorgensen. The Impact of Mobile Phones in Africa; see

See A History of Nigeria by Toyin Falola and Mathew M. Heaton.


David Mark, currently Nigeria’s president of the Senate who was then minister of communications during the military administration of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, shrugged off mounting criticisms against lack of public’s access to telephony, saying telephone was actually not for poor Nigerians. See or option=com_content&view=article&id=68192:decades-of-mixed-blessings-&catid=37:infotech&Itemid=709 (both accessed on November 12, 2010)

having a swell time. Since the first cellular phone service was initiated in Ghana in 1992, the quality of life has been in an upward swing. In a country where the ratio of mobile to analog phone is touted to be 40: 1, mobile phone user base has increased from 383, 000 in 2002 to 15.360 million by the end of 2009, posting a penetration rate of almost 63 per cent12. And with the launch of one more telecom operator in the year, Ghana seems set to enjoy further boom in mobile telephone market in years to come. With the end of an internecine war in Cote d’Ivoire in 2003, the return of favorable investment climate has rubbed off on mobile phone market as well, making it the third largest mobile telephony market in West Africa. A Frenchspeaking West African country with an estimated 20 million people, Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast (as it is called in English) accounted for 10 per cent of the subregion’s mobile phone strength. Even Senegal, with a population of 12.5million, accounted for 5 per cent of mobile phone subscriptions in West Africa, just as Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Republic and Mali contributed 3 per cent each. While each of Sierra Leone, Niger and Mauritania posted 2 per cent of mobile telephony in the sub-region, Liberia, Togo, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau contributed an average of 1 per cent each. (See diagram 2 below, which depicts in percentages the

For more statistics and analyses of Ghana’s potential in telephony, see

contribution of each of

West African countries to the total mobile phone

subscriptions in sub-region).

Source: Industry data & estimates c. 2010 Blycroft Ltd

Social Significance of the Study Annually, October 1st is marked with fanfare in Nigeria, a national tradition since she won self-rule status from the British colonial rulers in 1960. But, unlike past editions, the 2010 independence celebration, which was the 50th - a milestone considering the country’s checkered political history - was engulfed in the flames

of deaths and controversies that shook the fabric of Africa’s most populous nation. A sad one for her fledgling democracy, Nigeria’s golden jubilee, which was elaborately organized to advertize the nation’s scanty gains of nationhood, suddenly turned into a moment of grief and mourning, spewing blood, tears and sorrow. After an explosion of twin bomb blasts near the venue of the carnival-like celebrations in the nation’s capital in Abuja, 15 innocent civilians were confirmed dead and many more maimed, including security operatives who were on hand to protect the citizenry.13 The dastardly act, an unfitting national birthday gift, did not just foul the festive air in many homes across the vast country; it also cast an unfortunately added dent on the image of a country that had had its share of bad news

internationally some weeks before the ceremonies, having been dubbed a timebomb as a politically unstable nation.14 Pronto, the security agencies expectedly swung into action, hurling some Nigerians into detention as suspected perpetrators

Though the state security service confirmed that nine people met their untimely deaths, the media reported a larger picture of casualties. Apart from the dead, the tragedy also left many passers-by maimed and wounded. See Anayochukwu Agbo, Playing Politics with Bombs, TELL Magazine, October 11, 2010; see

As if endued with some gift of prescience, John Campbell, former US ambassador to Nigeria, in one of his numerous acerbic commentaries on the state of affairs in Nigeria, had predicted that the forthcoming general elections in Africa’s most populous country could plunge the nation back on the brink of collapse. Though many top Nigerian public officials quickly labeled him a prophet of doom and allayed mounting fears, the aftermath of the bomb blast exposed the fragility of Nigeria’s stability and unity. Read further in John Campbell, Nigeria on the brink: what happens if the 2011 election fails? See cid=soc-twitter-in-nigeria-nigeria_on_the_brink-090910

of the heinous crime. As the public mood ran riot during the ensuing manhunt, the stream of things changed with break-neck pace when Raymond Dokpesi, a media mogul, was arrested and grilled in connection with the unfortunate incident. His arrest and interrogation was on the strength of text messages allegedly linking him with some of the characters suspected to be the perpetrators of the bombings. Unsurprisingly in a country where ethnic rivalry or mutual distrust among her predatory political elites is a way of life, divisive political connotations, especially the usual north-south dichotomy sentiments, soon crept into a national security challenge that deserved national solidarity to unlock, thus refreshing the wound of age-old leadership acrimonies stymieing genuine development in Nigeria’s nascent democracy. Suddenly, even without any evidence to back same, four presidential aspirants from a section of the country had teamed up to accuse the incumbent president, who hails from another section of the country, of witch-hunting one of them and, invariably, the section of the country where they all hail from.15 Although Dokpesi has since regained his freedom, other suspects in the unfolding saga are not that lucky, with some of them now answering terrorism charges in the court. Relying on text messages and voice calls that allegedly transpired between

A vociferous sectional political pressure group from the home-base of the four presidential aspirants issued an ultimatum for the sitting president to resign and even threatened to call on the National Assembly to impeach him if he failed to do as requested. Read more in Ayodele Akinkuotu, From the Editor, TELL Magazine, October 11, 2010; see

the mobile phones of those arrested, the security agencies pounced on the suspected bombers, saying there was a nexus of clandestine operations and connivance between the suspects and their financiers.16 In other words, the muchtrumpeted feat of police investigations, as both plausible and doubtful as it seems, is dependent on the alleged text messages and call logs extracted from the cell phones of those fingered as masterminds of the bomb explosions. Perhaps because of the weighty national security issues involved, there seems a conspiracy of silence on the part of rights advocacy groups as to the proprietary of a government agency invading the private sanctuary of some citizens’ mobile phones in an attempt to obtain information. But if it is open to conjectures as to whether the due process of the law was satisfied before obtaining an information that is supposed to be a private data, what is however not in doubt is the fact that the last is yet to be heard on the roiling saga, for the outcome of police efforts will certainly trigger streams of issues that may dominate national discourse. More than before, not a few will want the court to determine the fate of the detained suspects as to whether the security agencies of government have the

In a manner that raised the nation’s political temperature, Dokpesi, who is also directorgeneral of campaign organization of one of the four presidential of northern Nigeria extraction contesting the presidential ticket of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party with the incumbent president, alleged persecution. or

legal power to clamp people into detention on the strength of information forcefully accessed through their mobile phones. Historically, that was not the first time there was media hoopla over information trumped into the public domain from mobile phones of citizens in the country. Before a controversial judgment was delivered in a governorship election petition in 2008, some of the judges were accused of ‘unholy’ romance with one of the parties in the protracted dispute. In fact, it was a huge national embarrassment when one of the leading weeklies published a steaming story containing the alleged call logs and text messages between the judges and the defendants. Rather than help illuminate the haze of raging controversies, the published call logs spewed further wave of endless debates and crises that are yet to be resolved - either in the tribunal of public opinion or in the law court17. Since the mobile phone frenzy hit Africa, the tenor of criminality has changed, leaving many countries groaning under escalating mobile phone-assisted crime wave. This is made possible because 97-99 per cent of mobile phone users in Africa use pre-paid phones, which make it easier to use pre-paid vouchers without


Despite threats by one of the accused parties to sue the publishers of the magazine, no legal action was taken against the publication. Yet, the election petition that triggered the brouhaha is yet to be resolved years after. Read further in or Tunde Odesola in Osun Tribunal: Myriad of litigations; see theartic=Art20080817030485

any traceable or registered address18. From economic and financial crimes to armed robbery and terrorism, it has been insecurity galore for embattled citizens, even as it has also spelled a hectic time for law enforcement agencies that are easily outmaneuvered by social miscreants. In some parts of Nigeria, many school children, journalists, movie stars, and oil workers, mainly expatriates, have fallen victims to kidnappers who depend on mobile phones to negotiate their ransom19. With the proliferation of cell phones in Ghana, stolen and cloned phones are fast becoming new tools for criminals, not only to conduct phone service but also using the technology to carry out illegal activities in a manner that often outwits the eagle eyes of security personnel20. It reached an alarming level recently when the The unpalatable story is almost the same in other West African countries like Benin, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire. In fact, the spate of phone-enabled crimes


See a report by Reuters which was cited by the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC. Available at (accessed on November 15, 2010)

For some of reported cases of victims of kidnapping, see (accessed on November 16, 2010)

Expressing its concerns over the increasing frequency at which mobile phone is being used to carry out criminal acts in Ghana, the Association of Independent Mobile Phone and Credit Dealers, warned unsuspecting phone users to beware of con masters who use camera phones to snap other people’s credit cards, which allow the criminals to know the name of the card owner, card number and expiration date on the card. For more detailed description of ways con artistes use to swindle phone users in Ghana, see (accessed on November 15, 2010)

became so worrisome in the country that the American embassy in Abidjan sent the following warning message to all prospective victims of fraudsters in the West African sub-region21
All telephone numbers provided will be cell phones. In Cote d’Ivoire, all cell phone numbers start with 05, 07, or 08. They do not generally provide landline telephone numbers, since these numbers can be easily traced to a physical location. Anyone in Cote d’Ivoire can easily purchase an inexpensive cell phone on a street corner and then purchase anonymously a pre-paid SIM card to operate their "business" out of this cell phone number, without ever having to provide any subscriber information. If they believe that they are being traced, identified, or near arrest, they can abandon their fake identities by tossing these pre-paid cell phone and any tools of their trade into a public trashcan and walk away, thus protecting their true identities.

Unfortunately, events in many other African states follow similar unhealthy trend, differing only in intensity and magnitude. What however provided the raw materials for this study is not the continent’s queer politics; it is the role handsets play in escalating crime wave and the modus operandi of the intelligence community and mobile technology regulatory institutions in fixing the security conundrum besetting the vast region.

Properly x-rayed, the success story in the telecommunications sector has triggered existential issues that need to engage the thinking of discerning Africans. Across many African states, there are bourgeoning calls that all mobile phone


See (accessed on November 15, 2010)

operators should register existing SIM cards - both those on prepaid and the ones on contract - in the name and address of the user, while new ones should not be activated without satisfying these conditions.22 When mobile technology was brought to the region in 1990s, African governments made the fatal mistake of not compelling the operators to demand for one form of identity or the other and verify same before activating SIM cards for ecstatic users, thus robbing each country of the much-needed national database of mobile telephone users. When analog mode of telephony was in vogue, every country had a database of subscribers, even if only to ensure convenience of sending monthly bills to the moneyed few that were connected to the national grid. This singular oversight, it is argued, is what has emboldened more criminals to employ the use of prepaid phones to carry out their nefarious activities with an air of impunity, spurring more and more technology-savvy youths to further indulge in fraudulent chores by sending malicious and unsolicited text messages to other subscribers. Though this corrective regulation of registering SIM cards has been introduced with minimal public outcry in countries like South Africa, Mauritius, and Tanzania, the measure is greeted with suspicion and distrust in


For further readings, see Ayantokun Oluwaseun, NCC Unveils Plans to End Kidnapping in Nigeria…Using Telecoms Devices; see

many countries such as Egypt, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Ghana23. In Nigeria, which joined the mobile phone frenzy in 2001, efforts of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to introduce this idea and help in the bid to clamp down on crime through SIM card registration are in top gear. Still shivering under the vice grip of kidnappers, Nigeria, through the NCC, unveiled additional plan recently, which entails installing equipment on every mast with the goal of achieving triangulation in order to identify and locate real geographical location of phone users, whether the handsets involved are GPS-enabled or not. Even in Ghana, Africa’s emerging model of democracy, tongues are wagging as to the legality of registering of compelling operators to register all SIM cards24. Unlike other countries, Ghana even went a step further, planning a phone tapping system called Intelligence Signaling Management System, ISMS. Among other things, this would help Ghana monitor and track all incoming international calls, see and also read text messages and access other data on cell phones.

In an online debate hosted by the British Broadcasting Corporation to discuss the possibility of the new registration scheme to impinge on privacy and rights, many people voiced the fears, saying it would be abused. forumID=7447&start=30&edition=2&ttl=20101104054857

Lampooning the federal authorities for initiating registration of handset users’ data, Ace Anan Ankomah, a legal practitioner in Ghana, petitioned government, insisting that the move contravened article 18(2) of the country’s 1992 constitution, which abhors interference with the privacy of citizens’ home, property, correspondence and communication, except in accordance with the law. Read further in Ace Akomah Battles National Security over Mobile Phone Registration.

Expectedly, the idea has drawn flaks from rights advocacy groups who consider the efforts as an illegal peep into the private affairs of citizenry.25 Threats to Individual Privacy To a degree unprecedented in history, individual privacy is now under siege in West Africa. As Africans gleefully clutch to their mobile phones and savor the benefits of this wonderful communication technology, this social revolution may turn out to be a mixed blessing. And unless many irregularities that find abode in the sub-region are fixed, the celebratory mood unleashed by the coming of cell phones will not last. In fact, this may help doom many of the developing aspirations in Africa’s evolving nations. From Nigeria to Ghana, Cameroun to Egypt, Tanzania to Cote d’Ivoire, cell phones are fast becoming new tools that allow the invasion of privacy, and potential weapons of repression in the hands of power-drunk governments with their ubiquitous and overzealous security arm. With an explosion in the mobile telephony subscriber base, which has now given birth to an unprecedented boom in social and economic activities, African governments now grapple with the flip side

In a suit instituted against the government of Ghana by the Alliance for Accountable Governance, AFAG, maintained that the planned installation of an intelligence system to monitor phone calls amounted to a breach of fundamental human rights of Ghanaians. It therefore prayed the court to declare the action ultra vires. See AFAG Sues Government over Phone Tapping.

of success: being befuddled with an environment where crime festers with dizzying ferocity. As the world’s poorest inhabited continent groans under the pangs of a booming mobile phone-assisted crime wave, seeming helpless sometimes, the glad tiding is that there are new initiatives being put in place to tame the security scourge. But there is also a snag, for some of the measures seem set to both expand the powers of government and curtail the freedom and privacy of mobile phone subscribers in Africa.26 In a manner that may redefine many things, many African governments are yet to come to terms with the daunting task of crime fighting and respect for constitutional rights of citizens, especially as it borders on privacy, freedom and fundamental human rights. [it might be useful in your project to explain the constitutional rights and the rights of privacy that exist in the different African countries. I would imagine there is a range of protections or lack thereof.]An academic journey around some recent security challenges in some countries in the continent and official responses response will illuminate this cutting fear. The Heart of the Matter


Analyzing the implications of the proposed plan of the Nigerian mobile telephone regulator to install gadgets on masts and towers to monitor the location of customers, Oluniyi D. Ajao concluded that this would invite devastating blows on privacy and rights of the citizenry. (accessed on October 2, 2010)

Other Forms of Assault on Privacy Ahahbahbshsbhsbgcbcbcbnnmvnnsdjjkjhjsdjlklkljdkjefkjfkjfknknfeklnfklnf klnfkndknknkfkmkmsdkmdfkmfsdkmfdskmkmfkmfk.mfdskmfkmdkmsdkms dkkfdkmfdkm,dskjfkmd.,m.,m.,mf.m,dvs.,msvd.,mvsd,jds.m,sd.m,ds.,mvsd,js d,.mc.mdslmdsljsd.jdf.jdfs.kmfdskmfdkmsfdkmsdf,msd,msd,/.sd/.,sd,/ds/l.,sd/l ., Legal Bulwarks for Privacy Unfortunately, until law courts begin to test and set the limits on the need to balance national security with people rights, the prospect appears bleak across Africa. Though the various constitutions make provisions for protection of fundamental human rights, including privacy, all the statutes predated the new challenge posed by the mobile communication instrument. While the legal ground rules remain unclear about how to marry security needs with human rights, another vital issue gives weapons to fears that infraction on rights may continue: the absence of freedom of information act, which seeks to open up government to the citizenry, abolish secrecy in the running of government business and endue the people with trust in their government. Of all 16 countries in West Africa, only one – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Liberia – have passed and signed into law this all-important piece of legislation, becoming operative in these countries in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2010 respectively.27

While several countries of the world have added this important legislation to their statute books, Africa lags behind, watering the impression that the continent prefers shadiness as opposed to transparency; see

The rest have been dillydallying over the issue. Since 1999 when democracy returned to Nigeria, the media and civil society groups have literally been on the war path with the ruling class who cringes that allowing such a law to see the light of the day will strip will invite chaos and expose national security. In effect, what this means is that it is only one country – Liberia - out 16 nations in West Africa that has taken a bold step in ensuring signed this Ditto other African nations, leaving over 300 million mobile phone subscribers to continue to exist at the mercy of overzealous government agencies.

Conclusion No doubt, every human being and unit of social structure desires to have security. But there is the recurring imperativeness to balance national security aspirations with respect for rights of the citizens. And since the courts are yet to redraw the ground rules, enacting freedom of information act will go a long way in dismantling the secrecy in African governments and allay fears that registering mobile telephones will make it become a tool for oppressing political opponents and perceived enemies of the state.


Adomi, Esharenana. Mobile Telephony in Nigeria. Library Hi Tech News, Number 4, 2005 (page18-20). Agbo, Anayochukwu. Playing Politics with Bombs, in TELL Magazine, October 11, 2010; see (accessed on November 31, 2010) Ajao, Oluniyi D. (accessed on October 2, 2010) Akinkuotu, Ayodele, From the Editor, TELL Magazine, October 11, 2010; see Campbell, John. See (accessed on November 28, 2010) Charles-Iyoha, Christiana (ed.) 2006. Mobile Telephony: Leveraging Strengths and Opportunities for Socio-Economic Transformation of Nigeria. (Lagos: Centre for Policy and Development) Jagun, Abi; Heeks, Richard, and Whalley, Jason. The Impact of Mobile Telephony on Developing Country Micro-Enterprises: A Nigerian Case Study. Journal of Information Technologies and International Development. Volume 4, Number 4, Fall/Winter 2008. Oluwaseun, Ayantokun, NCC Unveils Plans to End Kidnapping in Nigeria…Using Telecoms Devices; see (accessed on November 27, 2010) Scott, Nigel; Batchelor, Simon; Ridley, Jonathan; and Jorgensen, Britt. The Impact of Mobile Phones in Africa; see %20Africa/Full%20Report.pdf (accessed on November 4, 2010) (accessed on November 27, 2010)

or or Tunde Odesola in Osun Tribunal: Myriad of litigations. theartic=Art20080817030485 (accessed on October 3, 2010) (accessed on November 4, 2010) (accessed on November 4, 2010) November 3, 2010) Bruijin, Mirjam de; Nyamnjoh, Francis B., and Brinkman, Inge. (eds.) 2009. Mobile Phones: The New Talking Drums of Everyday Africa. (Leiden: Langaa & African Studies Centre) Pg 11-23 Falola, Toyin, and Heaton, Mathew M. 2008. A History of Nigeria. (New York: Cambridge University Press) page 236 or on


90- Yusuf – This is an interesting topic and I think we need to find a way to give it better focus. Clearly you do not have time to cover all 53 countries in Africa. So I would consider how to narrow the scope of your project so that you can say something meaningful. You mention four countries -- South

Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Liberia (p.11-12) – that have passed freedom of information laws. You could compare the laws in those four nations with Nigeria. Another possibility might be to take the 16 nations of West Africa (which you mention on page 11) and go explain in detail the extent to which they have adopted mobile phone technology. American readers – and certainly the people in J676 – will not know very much about this topic as it relates to Africa. So if you could simple explain very clearly what the extent of cell phone use exists in a section of African countries, and what laws exist (or don’t exist) that govern cell phones, it would be very useful. I would continue to prepare your presentation for November 23, unless Ariana Goitia has agreed change her presentation date. She has been ill and I haven’t heard anything from her about rescheduling.

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