Investigation for the Observer shows how deals done by the UK telecoms giant benefited politically connected elites in eastern Africa

The spread of mobile phones across Africa has been one of the continent’s success stories over the past two decades, transforming lives through better communication and simpler banking. It has also resulted in huge profits for powerful international companies – and for some of Africa’s wealthiest and best-connected individuals.

But an investigation for the Observer into the African interests of UK mobile phone giant Vodafone, by the Finance Uncovered network, has raised serious questions about transparency and the processes by which western firms entered Africa’s telecoms markets.

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