A New Development Opportunity Confronts Old Paradigms: Exploring the Multiplicity Theory to Combat the Global Digital Divide

A New Development Opportunity Confronts Old Paradigms: Exploring the Multiplicity Theory to Combat the Global Digital Divide

Peter A. Kwaku Kyem (Central Connecticut State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0882-5.ch701
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Abstract

There is a considerable debate about how the technological gap between rich and poor countries of the world can be bridged or eliminated. Technological optimists argue that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can bring accelerated development to poor countries. Others question the viability of relying on ICT for development in low income countries. The ensuing debate has masked the digital divide problem and prevented a true discussion of how ICT can be deployed for the benefit of low income countries. On the otherhand, confronted with the persistent failures of one-size-fits-all economic development models, low income countries can no longer treat modernization as the pivot towards which all ICT-related development efforts must gravitate. There is a need to drop the singular vision of development which is premised on the experiences of Western developed nations and rather restore local actors and their cultures into the actual roles they play in development processes that occur within localities. Accordingly, this chapter reviews the perspectives that currently shape the ICT for development discourse and offers the multiplicity theory to bridge the gap in development theory and promote a development strategy which incorporates activities of both local and global actors in the development of localities.

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