Moore's Law Comes to Africa
This enables new forms of mobile payments. It lets government deliver services cheaply. It connects remote villages to the global food market -- pretty important when the U.S. Midwest is in drought. It creates new jobs and new industries for people across the continent.
As the BBC reports, a whole new generation of African-born entrepreneurs are poised to take advantage of this. There are now more than a dozen "innovation hubs" scattered about the continent, tracked by the site AfricaHubs, all filled with talented people trying to make the most of the technology available.
China isn't loaning Africa $20 billion out of the goodness of its heart (as reported in Bloomberg BusinessWeek); it's loaning out that money because it expects a big return.
Our 20th century economy was based on very expensive infrastructure -- roads, electrical grids, phone networks. Smartphones let Africa build the network without the grid, creating a whole new entrepreneurial class and a huge opportunity for global growth.
At the time of publication, the author had no investments in Africa.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.