My colleague James has been a busy chap these last few months. Not long ago I posted about his research into the impact refurbished mobiles from the UK was having on Romania.
Yesterday he presented at the launch of a new report, Africa: the impact of mobile phones to which he contributed a chapter on how mobiles might be building social capital in Tanzania and South Africa. His comments on the research and a link to the report and presentation are on the Forum for the Future site.
The results overall suggest that there is a relationship between mobile phone ownership and some aspects of social capital, for the people interviewed in our survey. Further research is needed to reinforce these findings and to examine the relationship in more detail. This could lead to an enhanced role for mobile phones in development strategies, and could inform how mobile phone companies develop products and services for developing world markets.
This is potentially exciting new ground for businesses wishing to demonstrate corporate responsibility with a business case and could open up opportunities for businesses exploring how they market their products.