Less walk more talk by Russell south wood ₦8,000 A son wants to talk to his mother in a neighbouring village – it’s a two day walk each way.A plumber makes house calls all morning only to return to his shop to pick up messages for the afternoon.
A rural farmer wants to know what crop prices are in the market to see when best to sell his crops – he has to take a day out to visit the market only to find out that the prices are too low midweek.
This was Africa before mobile phones arrived: a lot of walking and not much talking. In the main, fixed line phones were provided by a monopoly provider and were not well resourced or energetic about connecting customers. Waiting lists for new subscribers could be ten years. The absence of instant communications provided many excuses for things undone and little incentive for action.
Africa was considered a difficult place to do business and an even harder place to make money. Early mobile phone pioneers were largely home grown and made their money targeting elites. However, in the space of j
Surulere · Feb 28