#LeMonde: “In Kenya, the Internet for the higher but in addition for the worst “


By opening entry to the Web, smartphones are altering the lives of the poorest. However a research exhibits that with out coaching, they can be a software of enslavement.

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Cell phone in Kenya. “Title =” THOMAS MUKOYA / REUTERS “onload =” lmd.pic (this);

It has turn out to be a cliché: in creating international locations, particularly in Africa, the cell phone is on the origin of a digital revolution. By opening entry to the Web, banking, data, schooling or the economic system, smartphones are radically reworking the lives of the poorest inhabitants.

Nevertheless, the cell is way from being a magic wand that smooths inequalities. This is without doubt one of the readings that may be made from a really complete research just lately printed on first-time Web patrons in Kenya by the Invoice and Melinda Gates Basis and the Mozilla Basis.

Social context

For a number of years, the researchers adopted the course of 160 people who acquired for the primary time a phone related to the Web, whether or not they stay within the metropolis or within the countryside, whether or not they’re very poor or not, pedlars of Water, distributors or professors. The outcomes are very removed from a “technoptimism” bliss.

“Without proper training, adoption of the smartphone can worsen existing social and financial problems” summarize Laura de Reynal and Bobby Richter, reporters of this research to the Mozilla Basis.

As a result of using the phone is just not “neutral”, and suits in a social context. Thus, girls are more likely to make use of cell managed by males than vice versa; The actual fact of talking English or Swahili doesn’t give entry to the identical websites; And the smartphone is usually probably the most invaluable asset owned by the individuals being adopted.

Dependancy and scams

Evidences? Maybe. However the research additionally highlights the darkish aspect of the anarchic and large-scale deployment of the cell Web. Whereas gamers as various because the World Financial institution, Fb or African governments contemplate protection and cell penetration in a single nation a key ingredient of its future growth, …



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