Information and Communication Technology — Africa


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
  • Publication
    The Democratic Effects of the Internet , 1994 to 2003: A Cross - National Inquiry of 152 Countries
    (2009-01-01) Groshek, Jacob
    Since its inception and subsequent diffusion, the Internet has been lauded as a potent democratizing agent. Using macro-level panel data from 1994 to 2003, this study examined 152 countries and found that increased Internet diffusion was a meaningful predictor of more democratic regimes. This was shown to be most true in developed countries, where nonlinear fixed effects regression models showed the highest coefficient estimates and largest observed associations. Consistent with media system dependency theory, greater effects were also demonstrated for countries that already were at least partially democratic where the Internet was more prevalent and thus more likely to fulfill a greater number of information functions. In addition, Internet diffusion and democracy demonstrated a positive, statistically significant relationship (but with a marginal observed association size) in developing countries where the average level of sociopolitical instability was much higher. The Internet therefore should not be employed as a modern ‘mobility multiplier’ because of the strong associations and positive relationships it has shown with democracy but it should also not be ignored due to the democratic potential these results suggest.
  • Publication
    Journalists or activists? Self - identity in the Ethiopian diaspora online community
    (2011-08-01) Skjerdal, Terje
    This study investigates the role of the diaspora online media as stakeholders in the transnational Ethiopian media landscape. Through content analysis of selected websites and interviews with editors, the research discusses how the sites relate to recognized journalistic ideals and how the editors view themselves in regard to journalistic professionalism. It is argued that the journalistic ideals of the diaspora media must be understood towards the particular political conditions in homeland Ethiopia. Highly politicized, the diaspora websites display a marked critical attitude towards the Ethiopian government through an activist journalism approach. The editors differ slightly among themselves in the perception of whether activist journalism is in conflict with ideal-type professional norms, but they justify the practice either because of the less than ideal conditions back home or because they maintain that the combination of activism and professionalism is a forward-looking journalism ideology. The online initiatives of the Ethiopian diaspora are found to prolong media contestations in the homeland as well as reinforcing an ideal-type professional journalism paradigm.
  • Publication
    Theorising African communications: the bad news signalled by broadcast digital migration policy
    (2012-09-01) Berger, Guy
    Broadcasting digital migration (BDM) in Africa reflects deadlines agreed by the continent at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The case suggests a negative answer to the question about a uniquely African contribution to communication theory. This is because there is a disjuncture between the ideology of BDM, as evolved in developed countries and copied in African countries, and a critical theorisation of African communications which could surface a different vantage point. The embedded theory that informs African accord on BDM assumes unquestioningly that this particular development in advanced economies has to be emulated in Africa. As a result, primary African communications characteristics are ignored, including the case for investing in radio or mobile internet rather than BDM. Also missed is the value of democratic and interactive communications, meaning that the BDM Set Top Boxes (STBs) are seen merely as decoders of one-way content flows. In sum, the experience of BDM as a particular intersection of communications technology and social conditions reflects an inadequate African communication theorisation .
  • Publication
    Sizing Up Information and Communication Technologies as Agents of political Pevelopment in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (2011-09-01) Alozie, Nicolas; Akpan-Obong, Patience; Foster, William
    It is widely speculated that the emergence of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) will boost political development in the developing world. This expectation anchors on solid foundation since, presumably, the ICT revolution would radically alter access to information, dislodge entrenched social cleavages, and unleash new patterns of citizen consciousness and civic engagement by hitherto marginalized mass publics, and orchestrate new and decisive political equilibriums. In this research, we provide an empirical assessment of the impact of ICTs on political development in sub-Saharan Africa. Our analysis suggests that speculation about the potential for ICTS to enhance political development in the sub-Sahara is not unrealistic. The levels of phone, computer, and internet diffusion are associated with political development, although only the effect of the phone remains once other variables are specified. The phone is the most robust of all individual factors explaining variations in political development. However, t he effect of ICTs on political development can neither be certified as revolutionary, nor can they be codified as panacea.
  • Publication
    Community- Based Information Technology Access: The Case of Cybercafe Diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (2006-01-01) Mbarika, Victor W; Kah, Muhammadou; Samake, Kibily; Sumrall, Jeffrey
  • Publication
    Immediacy and Openness in a Digital Africa: Networked-Convergent Journalism in Kenya
    (2012-10-01) Mudhai, O.F.
    Before the US crackdown on WikiLeaks website from 2010, the narrative of freedom dominating discourses on uneasy deployment of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in journalism was more prevalent in Africa – and developing regions – than in advanced democracies. Little wonder WikiLeaks did not, at least initially, include African media partners in their potent 2010 ‘cablegate’ exposés. From the 1996 Zambian government ban of the Post online to the recent onslaughts on bloggers in parts of the continent, ICT uses in journalism have reflected national contexts, with restrictions often resulting in self-‐censorship, as well as innovations that borrow from and build on global developments. This ‘glocal’ context perspective defines the review here of the new media use in journalism in Africa with an examination of Kenyan media coverage – mainly between 2005 and 2010 constitutional referenda. The focus is on coverage by two leading newspapers in their strive to keep up with emerging alternative spaces of networked online expression. The aim here is to determine the extent to which the coverage reflects immediacy and openness in a networked and converged environment, with implications for democracy. The article employs comparative approach and qualitative content-‐genre analysis.
  • Publication
    Gender and National ICT Policy in Africa: Issues, Strategies, and Policy Options
    (2008-02-01) Olatokun, Wole Michael
    The paper commences with a review of the concept of Information Communication technology (ICT) and points out how ICT has become a potent force in transforming social, economic and political life globally. It then discusses the linkage between gender and ICT especially how ICT has widened the digital divide gap between Africa and the rest of the world on one hand and between males and females on the other. It later gives an overview of the ICT policy formulation situation in Africa pointing out the gender provisions in the national ICT policy documents of some African countries. It then reviews illiteracy rates and access to telephone facilities, computers, and Internet facilities in Africa and indicates that there is a digital divide on the continent between those who have access to the Internet and related technologies and those who do not. It finally presents the policy options and strategies to be adopted by African governments to enable women benefit from opportunities offered by ICTs. The paper concludes by submitting that unless gender issues are incorporated in national ICT policies in Africa the digital divide will continue to widen and most women that live in African rural populations would continue to be excluded from the benefits of ICT.
  • Publication
    Citizens’ Perceptions of Corruption and E - Governance in Jordan, Ethiopia, and Fiji — the Need for a Marketing Approach
    (2010-01-01) Pathak, R D; Belwal, Rakesh; Naz, Rafia; Smith, R F.I.; Al-Zoubi, Khalid
    The purpose of this research is to assess citizen’s perceptions of corruption and e-governance in Jordan, Ethiopia, and Fiji. The research is based on surveys using structured questionnaires and focus group interviews. Conclusions are derived from a mix of descriptive and inferential analysis. The survey covers a total of 1212 respondents using stratified sampling. Findings reveal that public sector corruption and demands for bribes are increasing in each country. Only a few people are aware of e-governance and feel that it can help in curbing corruption. The study proposes that in order to mitigate negative forces in the implementation of e-governance such as corruption, digital divide, and urban bias, developing countries need to apply a marketing approach to e-governance services.
  • Publication
    IT Education and Workforce Participation: A New Era for Women in Kenya?
    (2006-01-01) Mbarika, Victor W; Payton, Fay Cobb; Kvasny, Lynette; Amadi, Atieno