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Texting, Tweeting, Mobile Internet: New Platforms for Democratic Debate in Africa

Posted by kelechiea on Sep 26, 2011
Texting, Tweeting, Mobile Internet: New Platforms for Democratic Debate in Africa data sheet 1755 Views
Tom Sarrazin
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

New media platforms are changing how people communicate with each  other around the world. However, there is great variation in both the kind of 

communication platforms people make use of as well as in how they access these  platforms. Computer ownership and internet access are still the prerogative of  the wealthy few in wide swathes of the African continent. All the same, mobile internet access is on the rise and if current growth rates continue, African mobile phone penetration will reach 100 per cent by 2014. Mobile phone penetration rates, in particular, have resulted in a plethora of ideas for new media platforms aimed at bridging the information divide between the well-connected and the disconnected. Topic areas range from agriculture and conservation to health and human rights. In addition to mobile phone-based platforms, there is also a number of promising internet-based ones.


Question Box: Information For People The Way They Want It

Posted by admin on Aug 04, 2009

Question Box is an "all-questions-answered" service that attempts to democratize the world’s information for all the world’s people. Unlike many services that target only mobile or web users, Question Box takes into account the fact that some people are illiterate, some people are too poor to afford even a mobile phone, and some people (often times women) are shut out from communicating with certain people or information sources.

The service was started by Rose Shuman a few years ago when she got the idea to offer the internet and information found in things like Wikipedia to people who couldn’t read or who were otherwise disenfranchised. Since then the service has been piloted in many locations in India and is currently being piloted in Uganda.