In War-Torn Congo, Going Wireless to Reach Home

Monday, July 10, 2006

Excerpt: As surely as the light bulb and the automobile before them, the cellphone and text messaging are radically changing the way people live in the developing world. In widespread use for about five years in much of Africa, technology long taken for granted by the world’s rich has made life easier, safer and more prosperous for the world’s poor.

For the first time, millions of Africans are able to communicate easily with people who are beyond shouting distance. Farmers and fishermen, for example, use text messaging to check market prices, eliminating middlemen and increasing profits — and preventing long trips to the market on days it is canceled.

In cities, cellphones are becoming a basic tool of electronic commerce, allowing consumers to transfer money to merchants with a few presses on the keypad.

Source: The Washington Post (link opens in a new window)