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Much has been written about the impacts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa and its transformational socio-economic potential. The penetration of mobile phones in particular has been particularly marked in recent years. This paper seeks to interrogate the hypothesis of transformation by examining the ways in which Africa is integrated into global mobile phone value chain, and the uses to which this technology is put on the continent. While mobiles are having significant, and sometimes welfare enhancing impacts, their use is also embedded in existing relations of social support, resource extraction and conflict.
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