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The gsm and africa’s socio-economic development: The Nigerian case, 1993-2015

Author: 
Dr. Ajayi Adeyinka Theresa, Ajibade Samuel Idowu and Oladiti Abiodun Akeem
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This paper evaluated Africa’s socio-economic development in the era of mobile technology. The postcolonial socio economic structure of Africa in general took a dramatic turn consequent upon the advent of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). The GSM featured for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa in 1993 in Cape Town, South Africa; almost a decade later, it had diffused to other parts of Africa with conspicuous effects on the continent in general. The study is localised to Nigeria being the most populous country and largest economy in Africa. Apart from the fact that it broke the monopoly of the erstwhile Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), the introduction of GSM has over the years provided a means of livelihood to millions of Nigerians. In this paper, attempts are made to examine the factors and circumstances leading to the adoption of the GSM in Africa. The paper concludes that the ‘new’ telecommunication industry in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular has actually led to employment generation and wealth creation with attendant implications for poverty diminution. Similarly, the GSM economy opened a new frontier of revenue generation for African governments as it became second to crude oil, and with respect for globalisation, the continent of Africa has become effectively integrated in the 21st century globalisation.

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