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Learning with ‘e’s posted about an inspiring young Mobile Technology Evangelist called Jessica Colaco (she’s also a Researcher, TED Global 2009 Fellow and one of the top 40 women in Kenya under 40) and the projects she’s been apart of in Kenya:

M-PESA (Pensa is Swahili for money) which enables users to exchange money without the need to either go to a bank or hold an account. Tangaza is a voice based transmission service – you can update your Facebook or Twitter status through voice recordings on your mobile phone. Several other recently created apps were also demonstrated, including fish tracking devices and other tools designed to help people gain information on the move about education, health and agriculture. M-Kulima for example, can enable farmers to store and retrieve information about milk sales prices and purchase dates, where previously they would have had to try to remember each transaction.

There is also M-Guide for tourists. Take a photo of an unfamiliar bird or animal in the game reserve and your mobile phone sends the picture to a server. The server sends back via SMS a description of the animal – there are some obvious educational applications to that one.
The last part of Steve’s post holds the most truth

because Africans have been largely passed over by the first few waves of technology, they are now only just beginning to be creative with their first computing device – their mobile phones – and therefore seeing opportunities to innovate which the Western industrialised nations cannot see.

I think Africans use mobile phones in the most creative ways because we don’t have readily available and cheap internet connections.

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