Title: Building the African information society

Authors: Sherif Kamel

Addresses: Department of Management, School of Business, Economics and Communications, The American University, 113 Kasr El-Eini Street, Cairo 11511, Egypt

Abstract: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has introduced many changes over the last decades causing a socio-economic evolution based on information acquisition and knowledge dissemination. It helped create an emerging global information-based society with innovative means of communication that can help in increasing competitiveness for individuals, organisations and societies. ICT has helped generate new forms and structures of business, social and economic entities that are no longer bound by geographic or time constraints, but instead depend mainly on being connected all the time. This article addresses the efforts taking place in Africa to minimise the digital gap and actively join the global information society. Many African nations have invested heavily in building their ICT infrastructure to help improve the readiness of their communities and this article provides an overview of some of the projects implemented to build the African information society while demonstrating some the lessons learned and experiences acquired.

Keywords: technology transfer; information technology; developing countries; digital divide; socioeconomic development; information society; developing economies; Africa; digital inclusion; knowledge society; ICT4D; ICT; information acquisition; knowledge dissemination.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2009.021520

International Journal of Technology Management, 2009 Vol.45 No.1/2, pp.62 - 81

Published online: 30 Nov 2008 *

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