Archive for the ‘ICTs in Sub-Saharan Africa’ Category
This paper presents a case study of the adoption of telemedicine in Rwanda. Three major constructs which influence adoption and use of telemedicine technologies are theoretically reviewed and examined in these projects: technology readiness (infrastructure and sophistication of use), organization readiness (financial support and hybrid medical and technical skills and knowledge), and government readiness (policy and strategy). The research examined the national telemedicine project which has been implemented in three hospitals.
Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders associated with the project and an in-depth review of related documentation and reports of the project. The study found that Rwanda has developed basic telemedicine capabilities in using video conferencing to enhance a participatory approach in teaching and facilitate continuous medical education and training. The findings suggest that the commitment of government to telemedicine, the strategic choice of using low-cost and less complex technologies, and strategic partnerships with educational and technology companies are factors which have influenced telemedicine implementation in Rwanda. The paper concludes that low-cost innovations which are adaptable to the resource constraints in developing countries may be the appropriate path towards developing sustainable telemedicine initiatives.
Keywords-telemedicine, Rwanda, teleconferencing, ehealth
Boateng, R., Mbarika, V., Johnson, O. and Saiba, E. (2010) ‘The Challenge of Taking Baby Steps’ – Preliminary Insights into Telemedicine Adoption in Rwanda, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaounde, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.
Enhancing Micro-Trading Capabilities through Mobile Phones: The Case of Women Traders in Ghana
This paper investigates the impact of mobile phones on the micro-trading activities of women traders in Ghana. The research develops a conceptual model analyzing the impact of mobile phones on pre-trade, during-trade and post-trade activities. A case study approach is adopted and the findings suggest that traders primarily use mobile phones to communicate and exchange information in pre-and post-trade activities. A few traders innovatively also use them to manage customer details and scheduling deliveries in during-trade activities. This innovative use of mobile phones is a function of their pre-knowledge which may have been developed through formal education and/or social networks. Improving information management through mobile phones directly or indirectly contributes to the economic empowerment of the trader. The study concludes that developing the capabilities of the poor to use basic mobile functions and services, beyond voice calls, should define the agenda of future research, polices and strategies towards the “mobiles for development” movement. The conceptual model developed may inform future research in mobile phones and micro-trading activities. Read the rest of this entry »
Calling for programmed technology transfer and adoption strategies for sustainable growth of world’s LDCs
Calling for Focus on Developing Countries
The world’s least developed countries (LDCs) remain in a state of a quandary as to how best to partake in the global information age. These countries have historically lagged the world in most aspects of development, and the age of technology presents new challenges. We offer what we believe to be the right strategies for the affected countries to catch up with the rest of the world. It may be easy to say we should just flood the regions with modern technologies, but by and large this strategy has not worked for most developing countries, as it is tantamount to providing someone with fish rather than teaching them how best to fish [6, 10]. Actually, the fish simile does not adequately capture the ICT situation, considering the fact that technologies are not simple artifacts, and their meaningful use and application depend on local contents, culture, etc.
The success of SSA and other LDCs is in the interest of the whole world. The 690 million people in SSA make up 88% of the world’s least developed countries [6, p.7]. Many of the examples in this paper are based on experiences in SSA, but they are applicable to other developing countries of the world. Developing countries make up 75% of the world’s population and currently share only 16% of the world’s products [9, p.74]. Mainstream Information Systems research with a focus on developing countries and SSA is very rare [9, p.74].
One of the motivations for this paper is to enhance the understanding of the interactions that come to bear between some socio-economic development needs and factors generally innate to Sub-Sahara Africa and other developing countries that manifest to impede technological transfer, adoption, and diffusion. We present an integrated view of the problems and recommendations to help policy makers, IT practitioners, donor organizations, private investors, and others to devise meaningful policies that would help the regions reach their potentials. We believe that the programmed approach we are proposing would help transform these technological deserts (where many band-aid approaches have failed) into oases of technological use, development, and production.
Musa, P., Mbarika, V., & Meso, P. (2005). Calling for programmed technology transfer and adoption strategies for sustainable growth of world’s LDCs. Communications of the ACM, 48(12), 111-116.