Marc Mcilhone from AfricanBrains writes about how the Internet in Africa in recent years has exploded, from chat forums and photo-sharing sites to gaming and more.

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While the telecommunications market in Africa is still in its early stages of development, it is also one of the fastest-growing in the world. Mobile telephone services in Africa have been booming, and mobile telephone use is now substantially more widespread than fixed line telephony.

There is an incredible array and diversity of apps available, like social networking, online gaming like here, mapping, scientific etc. They’re even being used in agriculture and one of Marc’s personal favorites is icow, which is used by small-scale farmers to monitor the gestation periods of dairy cows, and likely birth dates of calves. The app, which runs on basic-feature phones, collects and stores milking and breeding records, sends farmers best-practice advice and the location of the nearest vets. The service calls itself “the world’s first mobile phone cow calendar”.

The rise of mobile apps like these and the widespread use of not just mobile technology, but any device that can access the Internet, is creating a huge wave of positive change for the continent.

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