Talking telephone numbers

Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest countries, with a long way to go before it reaches the millennium
development goals.

Sue George – The Guardian, International Development Journalism Competition – Monday 24 Nov, 2008

Tony Karumba/AFP

This Cama member has opened a stall and planted a field of potatoes. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP

Tanzanians love their mobile phones. Every village, truck stop, street corner, seems to have a kiosk selling phone cards. On the highways surrounding the capital, Dar es Salaam, billboards and outdoor screens show happy shiny people with their phones; in one, a stunningly glamorous young woman smiles at her little screen. “Keep texting,” it says.

But while the fortunate are on their mobiles, plenty of people are still unsure what they are going to eat that night.

In Kilolo primary school, a complex of single-storey buildings in a mountainous area about 10 hours’ drive west of the capital, children are in danger of going hungry. And cold – with many wearing clothes long past their best. . .

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