There seems to be an interesting 'social halo' effect in the statistics on mobile phone use in the developing world. Over half the mobile owners in South Africa allow family members to use their handset for free and a third do the same for friends. There are 28 million mobile phones in Africa, but there are now more than 82 million mobile users. Eighty five percent of people in Tanzania and 79% in South Africa said they had greater contact and improved relationships with families and friends as a result of mobiles. Over 85% of small businesses run by black individuals in South Africa rely solely on a mobile phone for telecommunications. Leapfrogging: a different route to development, Article 13, The Responsible Business Experts, Sept. 2005.
The term "leapfrogging" describes the rapid change made by a society or a company to a higher level of development without going through the intermediate stages observed in other cases. This connects with the idea that economic resources for unsustainable fossil technologies can be saved and thus the country can invest these resources directly in a sustainable future, instead of in infrastructure that will soon become obsolete. Ecological leapfrogging can be an alternative to development-as-catching up. It provides strategies to directly enter the phase of sustainability without going through the resource-intensive production and consumption models of industrial societies. Leapfrogging & transfer, Globalization, Wuppertal Institute.
The concept of “leapfrog development” means that developing countries can learn from our mistakes. Instead of the huge capital investment in equipment for phone lines and the hassle and environmental degradation of installing them deep in the country, put in some cell towers and make cell phones affordable and widely available. Or in this case, subvert the Nicaraguan grid by investing in solar, micro-hydro and wind turbine technologies. This is exactly what AsoFénix is doing in many rural villages like Enrique’s village Corozo. With support from Green Empowerment, the Nicaraguan Department of Energy, the Natural Resource Department and the communities that benefit from the projects, AsoFénix is changing the face of development in rural Nicaragua. Rebecca Bousse, Nicaragua’s AsoFénix: Leapfrog Development, Triplepundit, April 20, 2010.
I know I may be dwelling on the hot weather here...but it is so oppressive I can see why everyone (who can) leaves in August. . . . I've developed a fairly good system to cool down the apartment. Keep the windows and curtains all closed and thank goodness, unlike many Bakuvians who normally only have AC in bedroom, there is also one in living room. . . . .For quite sometime I've been baffled about the absence of ceiling fans here....well, after a lengthy discussion with my Dutch, soon to be ex-colleague (he's calling it quits here) the MIT trained political economist Phd......here's the likely reason. Economies/societies such as this one where the timeline for rapid growth has been so condensed will view such nascent technology as undesirable....fans seem primitive....go directly to AC once you have electricity....in fact, you see this mentally in other examples too...elevators or escaltors in buildings with no stairs....
There are also no communal or public laundry facilities...you went from hand washing to owning a machine....no need to have the in between step...no machine, hand wash.....another enlightened day in Baku... Janice Austin, Hot Tuesday in Baku and why there are no ceiling fans here, Janice in Baku, August 2, 2010.