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Mobile technology: very positive impact and still moving forward Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Mahamed Osman, Somalia Feb 24, 2009
Technology , Environment   Opinions

  

Mobile technology is becoming significantly widespread in the Horn of Africa. Consequently, a lot people are dependent on mobile technology for their daily lives. It was just years ago that I got connected to mobile. Beyond normal communication, using a mobile phone helps me to write short but important notes, record names and addresses when I am outdoors, do simple calculations when comparing prices and shopping downtown or when trying to figure out the dollar exchange rate for the Somaliland Shilling or Ethiopian Birr.

To put it simply, my mobile phone launched me into an electronics-based life. For one, it replaced my hand watch. Just a glance at my mobile screen display is enough to tell me what the time is. In addition, a mobile phone incorporates a lot of important and fun applications such as a stopwatch, a camera, a calculator, a calendar, a radio, a TV and many more. If I have an appointment or just want to wake up early for a class, a meeting or for work I usually set the alarm clock on my mobile. Indeed, I often get there right on time.

The mobile phone has remarkably changed my life. One prime example of this happened a few months ago. I was scheduled to sit a final exam in college one morning. My roommate was aware of this and planned to remind me in the morning or at least wake me up earlier than I was used to. Late that night I was informed that the exam had been postponed to the next week. My roommate, however, was unaware of the new information. Under normal circumstances, my mobile phone would have been enough to wake me up for the exam. However, since I knew I would not be taking the exam on that day, I slept in. My roommate did not understand my dependence on this technology and tried to make me wake up early that morning. I was not ready to wake up. Hence, there has been a minor conflict between us since.

Another case concerns my environmental awareness and conservation activities. Just a few months ago we had deep sea filming and filming along the coast in the Gulf of Aden. It was during the time when piracy was at its peak in the area. More than 30 ships, including a weapon ship and a big Saudi oil tanker, were under the Somali pirates at the tip of the Horn of Africa. Although we were safe in the Somaliland zone that was free of pirates, there were times when the only mode of communication we had was mobile communication.

When I am in Ethiopia for education (as is currently the case), I seldom communicate by mobile phone. The situation is different when I am in my country, where I usually go on vacation or to work. In Somaliland we have a number of telecommunication companies. As competition keeps cost down we do have some of the cheapest mobile communications rates in Africa. In recent years all mobile subscribers have access to the internet. So we can check our inboxes, send or receive emails and even use search engines like Google.

I can attest that the mobile phone has facilitated a lot of my work. For example, I can keep in touch with project participants in different locations, participate in conferences via mobile communications, and sometimes take action using my mobile phone. I recently had the opportunity to get access to the internet and was this able to get connected to my contacts. Moreover I can keep informed in terms of news, stories, youth affairs and whatever current issues come up.

Last but not least I believe that mobile technology is on the right track. I have in mind the various interrelated contributions the technology has made in our lives. The degree of influence that this technology will have in the future is still unpredictable, but I can certainly say that its influence is spreading fast and impacting work and other contexts positively. Thank you, mobile technology.





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Writer Profile
Mahamed Osman


My name is Mamahed Osman Jama. from tip of Horn of Africa,
I like both reading and writing .
I usually write about my experiences, feelings, ideas, to inform or explain, and to report as well.

As I am an engineer with particular focus on media impact on the general public I do have a high drive to engage in development, media, technology and innovation.
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