Challenging conventional views on mobile telecommunications investment: evidence from conflict zones

Huge amounts are being invested in information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones and their telecommunications infrastructure. Development agencies provide a conventional view on the ‘climate’ needed to encourage such investment; particularly that good governance and security are required. We question this conventional view with a study of mobile telecommunications in three insecure states that score very badly in the Worldwide Governance Indicators. Data are limited but suggest insecurity and ‘bad governance’ may not be the barriers to investment that are normally supposed. Indeed, it is possible—at least for this type of digital technology—that they may encourage investment.