Adoption of E-Government in Africa: Challenges and Recommendations

Adoption of E-Government in Africa: Challenges and Recommendations

Priti Jain (University of Botswana, Botswana) and Akakandelwa Akakandelwa (University of Zambia, Zambia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5868-4.ch008
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Abstract

Increasingly, the importance of e-government is growing owing to higher quality delivery of government services, improved citizen empowerment through access to e-information, and better interactions between governments and their stakeholders. Despite all this recognition and appreciation of e-government, there is slow uptake and high failure of e-government in developing countries. A huge imbalance still remains between developed and developing countries, specifically in Africa because of numerous impediments. Africa lags far behind all other regions in the world. Some African countries have initiated e-government, such as Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa, yet others have not taken any initiative or are very slow in realizing its full take off, for instance, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia. In light of the above background, the main purpose of this chapter is to determine the challenges and based on the findings make recommendations for adoption of E-Government in Arica. The chapter reviews the theoretical underpinning of E-Government as a tool for modernizing public administration; examines the present state of e-government in Africa; highlights the challenges and barriers African countries encounter in their quest to develop E-Government; reviews the role of public libraries in E-Government, and finally, makes recommendations for E-Government adoption in Africa and other developing countries.
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Current E-Government Status In Africa

According to the above the recent United Nations e-Government Survey 2012, there has been improvement in most sub-regions of Africa except Northern Africa and Middle Africa improvement is minimal. However, most African countries remain at the tail end of the digital divide. Table 1 displays the top 10 ranked countries in Africa.

Table 1.
Top Ten ranked countries in Africa
E-Gov Development IndexWorld E-Gov Development Ranking
RankCountry2012201020122010
1Seychelles0.51920.417984104
2Mauritius0.50660.46459377
3South Africa0.48690.430610197
4Tunisia0.48330.482610366
5Egypt0.46110.451810786
6Cape Verde0.42970.4054118108
7Kenya0.42120.3338119124
8Morocco0.42090.3287120126
9Botswana0.41860.3637121117
10Namibia0.39370.3314125125
Regional average0.2780.2733
World average0.48820.4406

Source: United Nations E-Government Survey 2012, p.14

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