As part of a UN programme to tackle poverty in rural Africa, 79 villages across 10 African countries will be hooked up to cellular networks.
It is hoped that the connections will help improve healthcare and education, as well as boosting the local economy.
A 2005 study showed that an increase of 10 mobile phones per 100 people could increase GDP growth by 0.6%.
“This is a technology that is remarkably empowering, especially for remote areas where the ability to communicate is vital,” Dr Jeffery Sachs, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, told the BBC News website.
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