Research Shows Mobile Phone Ownership In Africa Rivals US

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Written by Staff

From VOA

A recent report underscores the proliferation of cell phone use in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the Pew Research Center survey, Africa has all but skipped the “landline stage of development.”

In 2002, only one tenth of the populations of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Ghana owned a mobile phone, said Pew.

“Across the seven countries surveyed, roughly two-thirds or more say they own a cell phone,” according to Pew. “Ownership is especially high in South Africa and Nigeria, where about nine-in-ten have a cell phone.”

Mobile phone penetration in South Africa and Nigeria, in fact, rivals that of the U.S., where 89 percent of American adults own a cell phone. Over 7,000 Africans were surveyed in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda from April to June last year.

African mobile phone owners use them mostly to send text messages and to take pictures or video, the survey revealed. In some countries, such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the survey found that mobile banking was a popular use of cellphones.

Additionally, the survey found that accessing social networks was a popular use of mobile devices, particularly in Nigeria and South Africa.

Smartphones are less common, but are gaining ground, according to Pew.

Read more at VOA