Growth in mobile phone adoption sees new opportunities for development

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The number of mobile phone users in developing countries has grown at a phenomenal rate over the last few years (from 30.2% of people in 2006 to 78.8% in 2011[i]). Many charities and organisations have developed exciting new ways to use this technology, greatly improving development in many areas such as health, agriculture and the economy.

A hugely successful and well-established example of mobiles being used for development is the M-Pesa mobile banking service that launched in Kenya 2007. With the introduction of this technology, millions of people now have access to a bank account for the first time, giving users a more secure way to keep their money. Research in The Economist suggested that, as a result of the service, most people have seen their income rise between 5-30%[ii].

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