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African leaders want to help the poorest nations on the continent deal with poverty by persuading wealthier nations to subsidise mobile phones and internet access.

Abdoulaye Wade, the President of Senegal, told reporters at the UN General Assembly that he is launching a global fund to help widen access to technology. He said that there is still a digital divide between poor and rich nations, stating that "there are more telephones in Manhattan than in all Africa", Reuters reports.

He argued that access to IT and communications technologies could help countries promote economic growth, and combat poverty, but that the cost of entry was still too high when set against the resources of developing nations.

Wade added that the fund would benefit richer nations too, because "millions and millions of dollars" would be generated in sales of the tech equipment. He said the fund, launching on 17 November, would be financed by pooling donations from people buying high tech goods. ®

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