Mobile Phones: The New Talking Drums of Everyday Africa
183 Pages
English
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Mobile Phones: The New Talking Drums of Everyday Africa

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183 Pages
English

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'We cannot imagine life now without a mobile phone' is a frequent comment when Africans are asked about mobile phones. They have become part and parcel of the communication landscape in many urban and rural areas of Africa and the growth of mobile telephony is amazing: from 1 in 50 people being users in 2000 to 1 in 3 in 2008. Such growth is impressive but it does not even begin to tell us about the many ways in which mobile phones are being appropriated by Africans and how they are transforming or are being transformed by society in Africa. This volume ventures into such appropriation and mutual shaping. Rich in theoretical innovation and empirical substantiation, it brings together reflections on developments around the mobile phone by scholars of six African countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Sudan and Tanzania) who explore the economic, social and cultural contexts in which the mobile phone is being adopted, adapted and harnessed by mobile Africa.

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Published by
Published 15 March 2009
Reads 0
EAN13 9789956579143
Language English
Document size 3 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0057€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

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LANGAA | AFRICAN STUDIES CENTRE, LEIDEN
Mobîle Phones:The New Talkîng Drums of Everyday Afrîca
Edited by Mirjam de Bruijn, Francis Nyamnjoh & Inge Brinkman
Mobile phones: The new talking drums of everyday Africa
Langaa & African Studies Centre
Mobile phones: The new talking drums of everyday Africa
Mirjam de Bruijn, Francis Nyamnjoh & Inge Brinkman (editors)
Langaa Research and Publishing Common Initiative Group PO Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Phone +237 33 07 34 69 / 33 36 14 02 LangaaGrp@gmail.com www.africanbookscollective.com/publishers/langaa-rpcig
African Studies Centre P.O. Box 9555 2300 RB Leiden The Netherlands Phone +31 72 527 3372 asc@ascleiden.nl www.ascleiden.nl
ISBN: 9956-558-53-2
© Langaa & African Studies Centre, 2009
Contents
List of photos Prefacevii
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ANEXCERPT FROMMARRIED BUT AVAILABLE,A NOVEL BY  FRANCISB.NYAMNJOH1 1 INTRODUCTION: MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AND NEW SOCIAL SPACES IN AFRICA11  Mirjam de Bruijn, Francis B. Nyamnjoh & Inge Brinkman 2 PHONING ANTHROPOLOGISTS: THE MOBILE PHONES  (RE-)SHAPING OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH23  Lotte Pelckmans 3 FROM THE ELITIST TO THE COMMONALITY OF VOICE COMMUNICATION: THE HISTORY OF THE TELEPHONE INBUEA, CAMEROON50  Walter Gam Nkwi 4 THE MOBILE PHONE, ‘MODERNITYAND CHANGE INKHARTOUM,  SUDAN69  Inge Brinkman, Mirjam de Bruijn & Hisham Bilal 5 TRADING PLACES INTANZANIA: MOBILITY AND MARGINALISATION AT A TIME OF TRAVEL-SAVING TECHNOLOGIES92  Thomas Molony 6 TÉLÉPHONIE MOBILE: L’APPROPRIATION DU SMS PAR UNESOCIÉTÉ DE LORALITÉ110  Ludovic Kibora 7 THE HEALER AND HIS PHONE: MEDICINAL DYNAMICS AMONG THEKAPSIKI/HIGI OFNORTHCAMEROON125  Wouter van Beek 8 THE MOBILITY OF A MOBILE PHONE: EXAMINING‘SWAHILINESSTHROUGH AN OBJECTS BIOGRAPHY134  Julia Pfaff 9 COULD CONNECTIVITY REPLACE MOBILITY? AN ANALYSIS OF INTERNET CAFÉ USE PATTERNS INACCRA, GHANA151  Jenna Burrell
List of authors
171
v
List of photos
2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5.1 5.2
5.3
6.1 6.2 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4
The landline phone is becoming “oldfashioned” (Lotte Pelckmans)26 The mobile phone facilitating contact over distance (Lotte Pelckmans)39 Charging mobile phones (Lotte Pelckmans)41 Call box (Mirjam de Bruijn)52 A board announcing cheap transfers in a street of Buea (Mirjam de Bruijn)62 Zain Street in Khartoum (Mirjam de Bruijn)71 A luxury mobile phone shop in Khartoum (Inge Brinkman)73 ‘Credit Hiba’ (Hisham Bilal)76 Grandfather in the village calling his son in Khartoum(Hisham Bilal)79 The building of the Kariakoo Market Corporation (Thomas Molony)97 An opportunistic human network reception spot outside Mtitu village (Thomas Molony)101 Exoni Manitu, a potato farmer, at a manufactured human network reception spot in Kidamali village (Thomas Molony)103 Un jeune homme entrain d’écrire un sms (Ludovic Kibora)112 La devanture d’un télécentre privé (Ludovic Kibora)116 The sign of the practice (Wouter van Beek)126 Haman Tizhé and his credentials (Wouter van Beek)127 Haman Tizhé’s other organization (Wouter van Beek)128 Part of Haman Tizhé’s medicine cabinet (Wouter van Beek)130 New services! (Wouter van Beek)132 Busy Internet café’s interior (Jenna Burrell)155 A typical small Internet café in the La Paz neighbourhood (Jenna Burrell)155 A youth group in Mamobi in front of their signboard (Jenna Burrell)165 A base claims this unfinished building as their hangout (Jenna Burrell)165
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Preface
Collaboration is central in scientific work and this volume illustrates the colla-boration that can be realized by the social sciences and the humanities. It is a collaborative effort between junior and senior scholars and between African and European scholars, and a joint publication by both an African and a European institute. In this respect, the book also represents a new phase in collaboration between the African Studies Centre (ASC) and Langaa, being the first book to be published jointly by these two institutes. This co-publication would not have been possible without the excellent editing of Ann Reeves. Mieke Zwart did the type setting of the manuscript. We would like to thank them both for their help and endless patience. The book’s origins lie in the ‘New Social Spaces: Mobility and Communication Technology in Africa’ panel dis-cussions that were held at the AEGIS (ECAS) conference in Leiden in 2007. We are grateful for the financial assistance given by the African Studies Centre and the Celtel telephone company, as well as the intellectual contributions of participants and presenters at that panel.
The mission of Langaa Research and Publishing Common Initiative Group (Langaa RPCIG), headquartered in Bamenda, Cameroon, is to contribute to its country’s own cultural development and the cultural renaissance of Africa. This is being achieved by promoting innovative research and publications and by enhancing collaboration in the social sciences and the humanities in Africa and among African and non-African social researchers, writers and cultural workers. Langaa seeks to facilitate dialogue between research and policy on cultural production and pro-motion in Africa.
The ASC is the only academic research institute in the Netherlands devoted entirely to the study of Africa. Its primary aims are to undertake scientific research on Sub-Saharan Africa in the social sciences and the humanities and to promote a better understanding of African societies in the Netherlands. The ASC’s research is well embedded in national and international African Studies scholarship. The Centre has a research department and an extensive library with the most specialized collection on Africa in the Netherlands in the fields of the social sciences, the humanities and law. Its collection is accessible via the online public access catalogue.
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