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The Impact of Mobile Phone Uses in the Developing World: Giving Voice to the Rural Poor in the Congo

The Impact of Mobile Phone Uses in the Developing World: Giving Voice to the Rural Poor in the Congo
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Author(s): Sylvain K. Cibangu (Loughborough University, UK), Donna Champion (Cranfield University, UK) and Mark Hepworth (Loughborough University, UK)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 24
Source title: Ubiquitous Technologies for Human Development and Knowledge Management
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Hakikur Rahman (Institute of Computer Management and Science, Bangladesh)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7844-5.ch015

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Abstract

Around the turn of the year 2020, unprecedented challenges rocked the world, casting a spotlight on large swathes of the world's populations still unconnected and those connected being gravely plagued by inequalities and racism. The promises of rapid/digital mobile phone dissemination around the world have evaporated. To add to these woes, despite the amount of writings produced on mobile phones, Western bias is surprisingly unbridledly prevailing alongside the fĂȘted wireless connections/apps. Expansive literature tends to present the rapid adoption of mobile phones among rural individuals, with little to no indication of how local values and voices are respected or promoted. This chapter is a study that undertook semi-structured interviews with 16 rural chiefs to inquire into ways in which mobile phones enabled socio-economic development in the rural Congo. Rather than using quantitative, large-scale, or top-down data, the study sought to give voice to chiefs themselves about the role of mobile phones.

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