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Jerseyman joins UK mission

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A JERSEYMAN who developed award-winning technology that allows poor communities around the world to access the internet joined David Cameron on a trade mission to Africa.

Ken Banks, who was born in the Island and now lives in Cambridge, was a member of the 40-strong delegation that met South Africa and Nigerian leaders last week.

They were also due to travel to Rwanda and Sudan, but the five-day trip was cut to two days because Mr Cameron and his aides had to return to the UK to deal with the fallout of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. The aim of the trip was to promote British business in some of the continent's fastest-growing economies.

Mr Banks, who lived at Les Cinq Chênes and went to Hautlieu and Highlands College, was invited on the trip because of his work developing a system that allows remote communities to communicate via the web with a very basic mobile phone. Called FrontlineSMS, his free software has been downloaded more than 13,000 times. It has been used by everyone from the first independent news agency in Iraq and farmers working together to detect cheating commodity traders to democracy campaigners in Azerbaijan and Filipino workers wanting emergency help.

Full story in today's JEP

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