Dialing for Answers Where Web Can’t Reach

KAMPALA, Uganda — The caller was frustrated. A new pest was eating away at his just-planted coffee crop, and he wanted to know what to do. Tyssa Muhima jotted down notes as the caller spoke, and promised to call back in 10 minutes with an answer.

Each day, Ms. Muhima and two other young women at this small call center on the outskirts of Uganda’s capital city answer about 40 such calls. They are operators for Question Box, a free, nonprofit telephone hot line that is meant to get information to people in remote areas who lack access to computers.

Full article in the NYT

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Interesting line in article: “A lot of this information isn’t even available on the Internet,” said Jon Gosier, chief technology officer of Question Box and founder of Appfrica Labs. “The real value in this database is that it contains a wealth of data that only pertains to the local areas.”

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