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How Cell Phone Minutes Can Help Map the Distribution of Wealth in Africa

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Without reliable government data, a group of researchers theorizes that the size of airtime purchases in Côte d’Ivoire roughly approximates wealth. A man dressed in traditional attire speaks on a cell phone during the annual Reed Dance at Ludzidzini in Swaziland. (Siphiwe Sibeko)There’s good reason to believe in a connection between airtime purchases and wealth. Mobile service providers throughout Africa allow their customers to transfer minutes between one another. In Côte d’Ivoire, such transfers are especially easy. The result is that airtime is used as currency in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Egypt, and other countries. Airtime goes

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01 Oct
Ericsson Labs @EricssonLabs
How Cell Phone Minutes Can Help Map The Distribution of Wealth in Africa. http://t.co/Ay9YohH3nA