'How big a change have cellphones made to Africa?" Paul Mason shouted the question at Isis Nyong'o, over the throbbing bassline of a Kenyan ragga track. She told him calmly: "It's had about the same effect as a democratic change of leadership."
As seen on Monday night's BBC Newsnight, journalist Paul Mason suggests that the mobile phone could do more for Africa than all the aid sent from the West. Is it possible that mobile technology will transform the continent, and perhaps let it skip an entire stage of the industrial revolution?
Some claim, but in a continent with the fastest growing market in the world, mobile technology is proving to be central to the economic change.
The greatest impact is already being felt in Kenya in the increased amounts of money that are flowing via secure mobile transactions. Bank accounts are rare, and Kenya is at the forefront of using such technology to the advantage of the individual.
In slums, mobile communication is changing grass roots politics as individuals no longer face social problems in isolation. 'Political flash mobbing has arrived in Kenya, ' says Paul. Things are altering at the micro level.
The potential for change is big, 'as big as fire, the wheel and railways,' as one contributor stated. 'This is Africa's first digital generation...The rest of the world will hear its voice.'