Africa Goes Wireless

Naabala is a traditional East African Maasai warrior. He has a bright red shukha blanket draped over his shoulder and a baton-like weapon, called a conga, tucked in his belt. As we walk together, his many necklaces jangle as he tells us about his first lion hunt – at the age of 16 – stopping only to show us which plants cure fever and which ones are poisonous.Then our mini-culture lesson comes to an abrupt end when something very unexpected happens – Naabala’s cell phone rings. We look at each other and smile at just how out of place his blue Motorola seems in this very rural African setting.But that’s part of a new reality spreading across the continent. From Angola to Zambia, cell phone towers are now as much a part of the landscape as acacia trees and zebra herds. In fact, Africa is the world’s fastest growing cell phone market.

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