This paper discusses the role of mobile phones in improvement of rural livelihoods the rural urban area of Ruiru.
Access to and use of mobile phones has increased dramatically over the past decade. Mobile phone subscriptions in sub Saharan Africa has increased by 49 percent annually between 2002 and 2007 compared to 17% in Europe in the same duration.
Mobile telephony has brought new possibilities to the continent and facilitates communication across urban–rural and rich–poor divides; mobile phones connect individuals to individuals, information, markets, and services.
This thesis will show how mobile phones contribute to improved rural livelihoods. It will also show how a mobile phone creates a supply chain of information; increases people’s ability to acquire new knowledge; maximize the outcomes of necessary expenses; increase temporal accessibility; and amplify efficiency of stocks.
The use of mobile phones also reduces costs of doing business and increases productivity by helping rural traders and farmers to secure better markets and prices; and promptly communicate business-related information.
It will be possible to prove that mobile phones contribute to improve rural livelihoods and reduce poverty by providing rural households with fast and easy modes of communication, thereby increasing their ability to access livelihood assets, undertake diverse livelihoods strategies, and overcome their vulnerabilities.
There is evidence of the contribution of mobile phones to market information for agriculture and livestock produce, more farmers say that mobile phones have enhanced (improved or greatly improved) their ability to access such market information
In the rural-urban area of Ruiru as in the rest of rural Africa, where in many places mobile phones have represented the first reliable modern telecommunications infrastructure of any kind, mobile phones have greatly reduced communication costs, thereby allowing individuals and firms to send and to obtain information quickly and cheaply on a variety of economic, social, and political topics. Individual are therefore better placed to make better decisions concerning their livelihoods.
New research shows that the reduction in communication costs associated with mobile phones has tangible economic benefits, improving agricultural and labor market efficiency and producer and consumer welfare in specific circumstances and countries.
An article in The Economist (2008) similarly reported: “A device that was a yuppie toy not so long ago has now become a potent force for economic development in the world’s poorest countries.”
This was a Thesis proposal (MA) for one of our staff members