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Telecoms boom leaves rural Africa behind
Posted: 31-Jan-2013 [Source: Reuters]

[Mobile penetration in Africa sits at around 33% leaving room for growth in this continent with a population of one billion.]

Helen Nyambura-Mwaura and Simon Akam -- While mobile phone usage has exploded across Africa over the last decade, transforming daily life and commerce for millions, it's a revolution that has left behind perhaps two thirds of its people.

"Poor or no reception outside the towns helps explain why the continent's mobile penetration, in terms of the percentage of the population using the service, is far lower than previously thought, and the cost of providing that service to impoverished, sparsely populated areas remains prohibitive.

In rural Sierra Leone, a country where GDP per capita is less than $400 a year, money doesn't grow on trees, but mobile reception can, says street trader Abass Bangura in Freetown, the West African country's capital."

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