Are mobile phones better than aid?
Monday, July 9, 2012
Helping people to use technology can combat poverty more effectively than centralised aid programmes according to a leading development entrepreneur.
Speaking in Dublin, the founder of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and of Bangladeshi mobile phone operator Grameenphone, Prof Iqbal Quadir said technology should play a central role in development.
“Western technologies can empower individuals … Externally empowered governments may not care about their people,” he said, referring to aid programmes.
“But economically empowered people create a system of checks and balances, people are more aware and governments are more sensitive to their needs.”
Based on his own experience in partnership with Grameen Bank, he said investment in communications creates a “win-win situation.”