Technology is the touchstone of development. Acquiring advanced technologies helped boot-strap China and India out of the economic doldrums in a generation. Across Europe and North America, it’s maintained the West’s economic, social, cultural, political, and military leadership. Yet for decades, Africa was perceived as having been left behind. Now, as mobile technology spreads across Africa, innovative ways of using technology are transforming almost every sector of life. We have asked our panel of global experts to weigh in on what role technology should play in the development of Africa.

The mobile phone has become an increasingly powerful tool to improve health care by facilitating data collection, enhancing patient engagement, and supporting community health workers. Mobile health in Africa has been flooded by donor dollars financing short-term, small-scale initiatives. While these resources can be catalytic, they are limited in driving product...

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