Russell Southwood
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Prologue (1986–2004)
in Africa 2.0
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This opening section looks at Africa’s first mobile phone operation in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo). In 1986 the company launching the service – Telecel – was far ahead of its time. The business was very much cast in the ‘old Africa’ mould, it relied on political patronage and became heavily dependent on politicians’ goodwill to keep operating. Its business model was one of selling scarcity expensively to elite customers. The section outlines the considerable difficulties that businesses operated under before telecommunications was more formally regulated.

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Africa 2.0

Inside a continent’s communications revolution


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