The mobile revolution: how smartphones are putting Sudan at the centre of the world

Posted in: Digital Divide at 10/11/2011 16:11

Last week, I received an email about a problem my company was having with our online shop. I happened to be out of the office, so I pulled out my laptop, plugged in a 3G mobile broadband dongle, and went online to try and fix it - something countless workers and commuters do every day. The difference was that I was standing in a field near Atbara in North Sudan, while villagers were making mud bricks a few meters away.

At a dozen other archaeological sites across the country, it was the same story. Admittedly, I was the only person making a fool of himself juggling a phone and a laptop while I was supposed to be looking at pyramids, but it was easy to see the effects of rapid technological progress everywhere, and not just for visitors. While out for an evening walk in the cool air at Jebel Barkal, I saw a local who had the same idea, but was wearing a traditional djellaba with a telltale glowing square of a mobile phone screen shining through the cloth: cutting-edge technology right next to a 4,000-year-old monument.

To read this Daily Telegraph report in full, see:

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