Freedom of expression and the rights of free speech are subjects that are under fire around the world. In many regions, local people have turned to the Internet and blogging to ensure their voices are heard; in Africa, the lack of Internet access and the corresponding ubiquity of cellular phones have given rise to the phenomenon of cellphone reporters. 

AfricaNews has begun working with these so-called cellphone reporters, who cover current events using their phones to produce video footage, written reports and photographs.
With this innovative project, African citizens ­– from the biggest cities to the most isolated villages – can let their voices be heard across the continent and around the world.
Citizen journalism is the act of individuals playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and publishing news. By inviting citizen journalists to report almost instantly with their cellphones on the website, AfricaNews aims to provide a side of the story that is often unheard. In this way, AfricaNews hopes to offer a different perspective to the continent in comparison to traditional media.
From today, AfricaNews will present the content from reporters in South-Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique who will be reporting on www.africanews.com.
This pilot is an initiative of the Africa Interactive Media Foundation, with the objective of supporting talented African citizens working in, or aspiring to work in, the media industry.
ITU (International Telecommunication Union) analysis shows that, in Africa, the digital opportunity is undoubtedly mobile.
Cellphones now outnumber fixed lines by five to one, a ratio that is even higher in sub-Saharan Africa, where nine out of 10 subscribers use a cellphone. As a region, Africa's cellphone market has been the fastest-growing market in the world, averaging 50% growth per year since 2000.
The technology partner of the mobile reporters project is SKOEPS. This Dutch company is known for creating the world’s first national news site consisting entirely of eyewitness images. People capture news events with their phones and send the pictures and videos directly to the website.
With GPRS (General Packet Radio System) technology it is possible in Africa to send articles as well as both still and video images to someone else without using a computer and without having a traditional Internet connection. The mobile reporters only need access to a cellphone tower, a GPRS-enabled phone and some credit.