Mobile activism

Following on from the Pan African Mobile Phone Activists workshop in Nairobi last month – Ken Banks who developed Frontline SMS – has started a SOCIAL MOBILE GROUP on Facebook

Mobile phones are revolutionising communications across the globe, more so in developing countries where landline infrastructure is lacking in many rural (and some urban) areas. Mobile phones represent the only means of communication for hundreds of millions of people.


At the same time, mobiles have opened up huge economic opportunities for their owners. They can now be more easily contacted when work is available, they can use them to advertise their services, receive market prices, job information, and so on. Others now make a living ‘sharing’ their phones and charging non-owners to make calls. Some make a living charging phone batteries, selling top-up vouchers, or covers and chargers.

is a brilliant multi-purpose sms/text messaging open source tool for activists that can just about do anything from organising campaigns, monitoring elections or any other activity, run surveys, competitions, manage phone-ins using sms, receive information, send information multiple recipients. Ken also created a searchable database on mobile applications with

details of projects from around the world which make social and environmental use of mobile technology in fields such as human health, economic empowerment, conservation, education, human rights and poverty alleviation.”

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