Mobile Africa is a film project documenting the extraordinary
rise of mobile technology across Africa and its impact on the
continent’s new generation of tech entrepreneurs. It is produced by Christopher Larson, Scott Gorman and Nnamdi Oranye.
Christopher is primarily an entrepreneur, and a photographer
and videographer on the side. He grew up in Colorado,
completed a BA in Russian at Brigham Young University before
completing two masters at Oxford University – a MSc in
Russian and East European Studies and a Master’s in Business
Administration. His passion is conveying stories through
photography and film.
Scott is also an entrepreneur and avid fan of film and
Scott was raised in Vermont, completed a BA
at Yale, a JD at Berkeley, and most recently a MBA at Oxford
University. He has a passion for storytelling and social impact.
is a writer and media contributor based in
Johannesburg, South Africa. He is an innovation contributor to
Power FM, a columnist for Destiny Man Magazine and the author
of Disrupting Africa: The Rise and Rise of African Innovation.
Nnamdi is also the Partnership Manager: Card and Emerging
Payments at Standard Bank, one of South Africa’s top banking
institutions, and the co-founder of the Disrupting Africa Forum.
WHY MOBILE AFRICA
The extraordinary success of mobile technology in Africa came as a shock to
many. In the early-1990s, Africa appeared to be an unlikely destination for
mobile phone subscriptions. The continent was viewed as high risk, with
questionable rewards. In 2000, around 1% of homes across Sub-Saharan
Africa were connected by landlines, while today there are nearly 557 million
unique mobile subscribers. How did Africa leapfrog almost a hundred of years
of telephony development and infrastructure? And what does this technology
mean for everyday Africans?
Mobile technology has had a profound impact on all segments of African
society, but people living at the bottom of the pyramid have the most to gain.
Mobile Africa highlights everyday people whose jobs are made possible by the
mobile economy and small business owners whose livelihoods have been
transformed through mobile connectivity. It includes perspectives from
academics who place the societal impact of mobile phones into context, and
government regulators who discuss their plans for encouraging future
innovations within their respective countries.
Yet every light casts a shadow.
For all the success of mobile technology,
drawbacks and unintended consequences exist. Increased connectivity
creates the potential for abuse, especially among governments with
authoritarian tendencies. There is also concern that mobile technology is
increasing inequality between the connected and those who lack access to
Challenges remain, but the story of mobile technology in Africa is an
overwhelmingly positive tale that we’re excited to tell with your help.
While conducting research on entrepreneurship in Africa the team met inspiring innovators across the continent.
Partnering with noted technology author Nnamdi Oranye, they’re spotlighting incredible stories of African innovation
and entrepreneurship in order to bring more attention to
exciting startups, contribute to the rising ecosystem of
African tech, and help inspire future innovators and
entrepreneurs throughout Africa and around the world. During the first trip to Africa we visited South Africa,
Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana.
made and the first interviews conducted, they went back
for six weeks during July and August for primary filming.
Over the six weeks, five countries were visited and over
30 people were interviewed. They have recently launched a
Kickstarter campaign to aid them in the post production
process, to finish the last interviews, and, if extended
goals are met, extend the length of the documentary by
visiting more countries.
Follow their amazing journey on these platforms