Harmony and Discord in Africa by Mark Huleatt-James
This is about a time and a childhood place not far from my own.
Harmony and Discord in Africa, despite its title, is not a political book but rather a slice of ‘home history’ about a boy, his family and their life on a farm in the young British colony of Southern Rhodesia .
Alex Leslie was founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. During the ten years of the GBA as an independent association he guided it through times of enormous change, challenge and opportunity for the communications industry. He is widely published in communications magazines around the world.
A ten percent growth in mobile phone subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa will translate into a one percent increase in that region’s GDP.
So said Bill Clinton recently, quoting statistics from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the communications offshoot of the United Nations (UN).
Demand in the region is far greater than supply suggesting that much of the continent is set for an exciting period of growth. It is not just the take up of mobile phones fuelling the revolution – it is what people are using them for.
Stories are commonplace of mobiles being used to discover what goods are in the market 20 miles away, and therefore whether a journey is necessary. Before mobiles were widely available, the journey simply had to be made, often for nothing.
Mobile phones create a more efficient use of time – and time is money. They are also creating markets, allowing producers and traders to begin the business of buying and selling before the market is even open.
In banking there is a similar revolution thanks to the mobile.