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Africa’s Mobile Revolution: An Untold Story

Victor H. Hwang | FORBES   in 
September 14, 2014

How do you transform a continent? The answer: you start small.

Africa’s mobile revolution has been called a phenomenon that “changed African nations more significantly than any development since their independence from colonial powers.” Today, Africa is even more reliant on mobile technology than the West. But one important story has remained untold. It’s the saga of how one person, imbued with entrepreneurial passion and surrounded by a supportive ecosystem of colleagues, helped launch an SMS text messaging service for real-time market pricing that eventually transformed the continent.

The successful ending of the story is already well-known. The South African telecom company MTN and Grameen Bank partnered to push mobile phones into rural parts of Africa. Consequently, millions of people benefited from market pricing through text messaging. Grameen Bank gets a lot of well-deserved credit for this story. But the story of this revolution doesn’t begin with Grameen. It starts even smaller.

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