By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
As Africa gravitates towards matching the rest of the world in mobile technology, the southern African country of Botswana is said to be surpassing many in mobile phone subscription densities.
According to the World Bank Information and Communications for Development Report 2012, Botswana’s mobile cellular subscription per 100 people is 144, which is one of the highest in the world.
The WB report, which is in BizTechAfrica’s possession says Germany’s mobile subscriptions per 100 people is sitting at 140, United States of America 106, Namibia 110, South Africa 128, United Kingdom 130 while Kuwait has one of the highest subscriptions of 183 per 100 people.
The same report says about three-quarters of humanity has access to a mobile phone with six billion mobile subscriptions currently in use the world over.
It further states that mobile phones are the most universal modern technology “but in some developing countries, more people have access to a mobile phone than to clean water, a bank account, or even electricity.” WB report says cellular phones do not only benefit individual users, but they also help boost the economy through the ripple-effect of stimulating economic growth, entrepreneurship, as well as productivity.
The report analyses the growth and evolution of mobile telephony, including the rise of data-based services delivered to handheld devices.
In an interview with the media immediately after the release of the report, University of Botswana’s Professor Nettimi Naranaya said Batswana are some of the highest consumers of the most expensive cellular phone gadgets in the world which translates into one person owning more than one phone.
However, he regretted that Batswana “have a tendency of copying the cultural patterns of the developed nations, adding that Botswana is way ahead of countries such as USA, UK and South Africa, but little economic development is evident on the ground.”