“Mobiles have a triple impact. They provide business opportunities; connect the village to the world; and generate over time a culture of entrepreneurship, which is crucial for any economic development,” says Iqbal Quadir, who with Grameen Phone brought the first commercial telecom services to poor areas of Bangladesh. In 1997 he partnered with microcredit pioneer GrameenBank to establish Grameen Phone, a wireless operator that provides phone services to 80 million rural Bangladeshi. The company has become the standard for a bottom-up, tech-empowered approach to development. Quadir firmly believes that connectivity can help increase productivity, especially in the developing countries. An article by Scott McLaren in Business2Community also talks of how mobile phones and smart devices help improve collaboration and sharing, a feature so crucial especially in countries where violence and crime are a common happening on any given day. This infographic from USAID discusses the benefits of access to mobile phones to people in Africa, both socially and economically, especially women who are mostly dependent on men and are always at a greater risk of getting affected by the numerous social evils so deeply rooted in their society. It also talks of the impact of using mobile phones in businesses in other developing countries where it has helped root out corruption to a great extent and strengthen democracy as well.
Image source: USAID
Image license: Public domain