Category: Africa

How smartphones get African millennials addicted to sports betting

When one talks about young Africans using smartphones, the dominant narrative is that these gadgets serve mostly as platforms for connection so that users can communicate and share greetings and information via text and images. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Signal take pride of place in that description, despite their murkier side. What has perhaps been overlooked is how smartphones are also affecting other facets of young people’s lives. One area is the ever-growing community of sports betting in Africa. The phenomenon of sports betting among African youths has taken the region by storm. Recent polls and anecdotal reports point…

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Why mobile access won’t mend our ‘digital divide’ without fixed-line broadband

Mobile services have had an important and positive impact on developing countries where they are the main means of connecting to the internet. However, mobile services have capacity constraints. They use limited radio frequency spectrum, which means that mobile data typically has usage limits. They also have high prices per unit (per gigabyte), which results in lower use per connection. Fixed-line broadband, on the other hand, has significantly lower prices per unit. It is often offered on an uncapped or unlimited basis and therefore has higher usage per connection. This enables a wider range of services. Fixed lines are expensive…

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