Think about this for a minute: Your pocket probably holds the sum total of human knowledge. (That’s assuming your smartphone is in there. If you’re using it to read this, 10,000 libraries of Alexandria are at your fingertips.) There is practically no limit to what one can achieve with just a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection, from contacting people on the other side of the planet, to earning academic degrees, making money, or even just swiping right. But suck the power out of that smartphone and you’re left with a useless hunk of plastic.

In the United States, cellphones die all the time, but our abundance of power ensures resurrection on demand. That’s not how it works in other parts of the world.

In rural villages throughout Africa, there is no central grid to plug into.

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