In class, we have discussed a phenomena that is common in development called ” The Leapfrogging Effect.” The Leapfrogging Effect, when discussed with ICT4D, is what happens when a developing country skips over an entire generation of a specific type of technology, and jumps straight into a very new, modern kind. For example, in Africa, there is often a prevalance of mobile phone users, however, landlines are often very rare. This is attributed to the leapfrogging effect, and that once the countries in Africa had the means to implement the phone technologies, it did not make sense for them to waste their money installing infrastricutre for their outdated landline phones, but rather jumped straight ahead to invest in mobile phone technology, leading a large portion of people in Africa to have never had a landline, but to have cell phones now.
This article by The Economist does not directly discuss the leapfrogging effect, but indirectly proves it. It discusses how African nations are often way ahead of developed countries in the use of mobile banking. Although not explicitly stated, one hypothesis for this is that possibly the rise of large and modern banks in African countries never developed as they did in the developed world. However, now as they begin to get their foot in the door of banking, they will leapfrog ahead straight to mobile banking, rather than invest their money in a more archaic type of banking.