Easy talk

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- "I used to get embarrassed, every time I sat with my daughters to discuss pregnancy," Amira Nantume said. The predicament of this 50-year old mother of two who lives in the outskirts of Ugandan capital Kampala is now over. "I send awkward questions to Google and then pass them over," she explained.

The search engine and the international charity Grameen Foundation have collaborated on a mobile phone service that gives people in Uganda information on weather forecasts, farming advice and health information through text messages. Google says the scheme could help about nine million Ugandans who have mobile phones but are without Internet access. Similar projects have also been launched in Ghana and Kenya, but on a much smaller scale.

People send a text message free of charge, and receive information back in a text message.

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