Information and Communication Technology and Good Governance in Africa

Information and Communication Technology and Good Governance in Africa

Godwin Onu (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-949-6.ch010
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Abstract

The 20th and 21st centuries have witnessed major paradigm shifts in the conceptualization of development and governance. These phenomena are aided and propelled by a new “network intelligence” consummated in the introduction of information and communication technology (ICT). The world has also witnessed a reinvention of the whole process of governance that has impacted society in various ways. Through the Internet and digital connectivity, today’s world has come to be closer than ever before. Efficiency and processes of governance have been improved through faster information flow in the governance chain. Bottlenecks and cost of labor have been reduced across the world. Furthermore, ICT has opened new possibilities, improved transparency and access to information as well as partnership and collaboration, leading to improved relationships between the citizen and state. While Europe and North America, as well as some countries of Asia and the pacific, have taken advantage of this development to improve their economies and governance process, Ningo (1999) observes that sub-Saharan Africa has remained either passive or in the periphery, often reduced to a consumer for reasons related to its history or its system of governance—or lack of one. This has led to a yawning digital divide (especially between Africa and developed states of the world. What led to this divide and how can Africa, then, benefit from this revolution? What are the obstacles?

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