Mobile Phones, Crowdsourcing and Africa

Nathan Eagle the founder of txteagle, gave an incredible talk at ETech ’09 about crowdsourcing on mobile phones in the developing world. Nathan said some truly remarkable things about mobile phone adoption in Africa:

  • Majority of mobile phone subscribers today, live in the developing world
  • The developing world is where we are seeing a lot of the innovation
  • Africa, is the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world
  • Kenya has some mobile phone services that are many years beyond what we have right now
  • Day labor in many parts of Nairobi is organized via sms
  • Now 30% of Rwandan’s buy their electricity using their mobile phone

His recent project, txteagle is a mobile phone service that enables subscribers to earn money by completing simple tasks on their phone.

  • There are over 2 billion literate, mobile phone subscribers in the developing world, many living on less than $5 a day
  • Corporations pay people to accomplish millions of simple text-based tasks
  • txteagle enables these tasks to be completed via text message by ordinary people around the globe