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The $100bn Mobile Bullet Train Called Africa

Innovation in Africa is the purest form: innovation out of necessity.
Not Angry Birds, the innovations emerging from Africa allow farmers to check where they can get the best price for their produce, fishermen to be warned about storms, people to check whether medicines they are buying have expired, and rural cellphone users to send mobile money to each other using text messages. Even the pay-as-you-go payment system was pioneered in Africa.
Mobile phones are one of the great success stories of the world, and nowhere is this more evident than in Africa. They are the 21st century equivalent of the railroad. Except it's a bullet train.
Africa is the world's fastest growing telecoms market, second in size only to Asia. More people in Africa have a mobile phone than electricity. Africa a mobile-first continent, but it is a mobile-only continent.


  1. What are the best examples of mobile innovation in Africa?
  2. Why is the mobile market in Africa so big, and where is all the mobile disruption in Africa happening?
  3. How is mobile lifting a continent and what can the rest of the world learn?
  4. What are the biggest opportunities for mobile in Africa, in the next 5 years?
  5. What are the biggest challenges for mobile disruption in Africa?



Toby Shapshak, Editor, Stuff magazine

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