Friday, August 26, 2005

Africa in motion

Before thinking that mobile phones are going to save the Africans, and even before giggling at the novelty of using cell-phones as currency, maybe a closer read of National Geographic's current special issue on Africa as "a million places" is in order?

Although the breathiness with which far too many magazines and blogs cover technology rubs me the wrong way, and even though the NG issue features the now trite photograph and story of an African (this one's in a tree) using a mobile phone, I appreciate that more energy is focussed on different kinds of mobility and change.

Today's Africa

Number of refugees:
15 million - 3.3. million who have fled their native countries because of conflict, some 12 million who are internally displaced

Annual rate of growth in urban populations:
3.5 percent a year

Safety in Circles

Percentage of population under age 25:
71 percent

Percentage of population dependent on agriculture for a living:
66 percent

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