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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) presents a unique opportunity for economic development in Africa. By improving the flow of information and providing a platform for other services, ICTs have the potential to correct market failures and remove constraints to development. Whether these benefits are realized depends critically on the context in which the technology is situated, including the presence of complementary infrastructure and policies designed to foster the effective use of ICTs. This chapter provides an overview of recent trends in adoption and use of ICTs in Africa, describes a simple framework for understanding how mobile phones might affect economic development, and surveys existing empirical evidence of the impact of mobile phones on economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. It concludes with a discussion of several of the challenges and opportunities for future research in this area.

Keywords: mobile phones, information and communications technology, economic development, Africa, ICTD

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