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ICT and economic development in Africa: the role of higher education institutions

Ng'ambi, Dick

Abstract:
This paper seeks to highlight how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are used for economic development in Africa and the role of higher education institutions (HEIs) in this regard. The paper summarises secondary data on eight countries, namely Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa. There are three main arguments presented: i) any meaningful development requires alignment with a country’s development goals, buy-in and the involvement of local expertise. ii) a collective ICT development vision for Africa exists and many governments are developing national ICT policies. iii) the emerging technologies and consequent changes in social practices (e.g. mobile phones) ought to be exploited for economic development. All the above arguments engage HEIs at various levels of teaching, research and social responsibility. The paper argues that infrastructure readiness without human capacity is futile. It then analyses specific ICT skills and delves into the role that HEIs in general and university-initiated projects in particular play in economic development. The paper concludes with a discussion on emerging technologies. For the sake of brevity, two technologies are reviewed: mobile technologies and the new Web 2.0.

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Document Title: ICT and economic development in Africa: the role of higher education institutions


Date:2006
Document Type:Paper (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:African Continent
Keywords:Information & Communication Technology ICT, Economic Development, Higher Education Institutions HEI s, Developing countries, Local Development, Information Age, Open Access, Projects, Quality of Higher Education


File Size:334 KB
Date Added:31 January 2007


Ngambi, Dick (2006). ICT and economic development in Africa: the role of higher education institutions.Commissioned as a background paper to the University Leaders' Forum, University of Cape Town 19-21 November 2006, by the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa.