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Africa and the Information Economy: Foundations, Opportunities, Challenges and Research Agenda

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Molla, Alemayehu
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3717
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Region: Africa
Subject(s): information technology
digital divide
Abstract: "Africa's Achilles heels are innumerable or may be not so as the enigmas and challenges we are facing emanate from our poverty if the latter is going to be considered a cause rather than an effect. While the continent is still grappling to provide its citizens with the most basic requirements of life, the rest of the world, especially the developed one, is fast heading towards a globally networked information economy (IE) and society. What does the information economy hold for Africa? What are its opportunities, challenges and impacts when in fact the continent is juxtaposed with the urgency to provide the most basic services of food, education, health, shelter, safe drinking water, etc? Is it prudent for Africa to go global, without successfully meeting its local obligations to its population by catering to their basic needs? Does Africa has a choice? Such are the nature, essence and magnitude of the questions that are haunting many involved in this discourse. "The study presented here doesn't attempt to provide answers to the above challenges and to the gamut of issues that surround these questions. Rather, it is intended to pose many questions than it actually answers and hence functions to provoke discussions and spark debates."

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