In Africa, less than one in three people have a proper drainage system, half of the population live in areas without paved roads, and only 63% have access to piped water. Yet, 93% of Africans have cell phone service.
These are among the findings in a recently published report by Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network which explored access to basic services and infrastructure in 35 African countries through about 50,000 face to face interviews.
In a lot of communities all over Africa, people can talk on their cell phones, but they can't turn on a light.
"In a lot of communities all over Africa, people can talk on their cell phones, but they can't turn on a light or a water faucet. Never mind flush a toilet. And they may be going hungry," says Winnie Mitullah, lead author of the report.
"As far as the most basic services that many of us take for granted -- water, sewage, electricity, roads -- an awful lot of people might as well be living in the 19th century," she continues.