Vol 28 (2006)

Exploiting Information Technology for Economic Development

Guest Editors
Matthew H S Kuofie
Illinois State University, USA
&
Ray Hackney
Brunel University, UK

Editorial
The papers in this special issue were selected from submissions initially presented at the Conference on Information Technology and Economic Development 2006 (CITED2006), held at the Commonwealth Hall, University of Ghana, Ghana, from July 21-23, 2006. CITED2006 was organized by The Information Institute, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, USA, in collaboration with the University of Ghana. The conference theme, location and content presented an opportunity to reflect and communicate ideas for the benefit of a less developed country. Overall, the aim of CITED2006 was to present research and best practice in the areas of information technology, management, and their impact on economic development. The conference was attended by over 150 participants from countries all over the world, including Barbados, Finland, New Zealand, Nigeria, UK, USA and those within Africa.

The 9 papers in this special issue consist of 5 case studies on IT and economic development, including; Zimbabwe, Barbados, Guinea, Tunisia countries and the African continent in general. The remaining papers identified problems relating to economic development and proposed solutions to address them within areas such as Turkey, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Africa in general, and Finland. Synopses of the papers presented follow:

Mhlanga indicates that the Government of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) commissioned an e-readiness survey in 2005. The report noted that in order to bridge the digital gap, Zimbabwe needs to build infrastructure to allow ICTs to be accessible. Molla et al. addressed the role using institutional theory as a framework of analysis in evaluating institutional interventions over a six-year period in Barbados and the impact on the national environment for e-commerce. The paper concludes that at the early stage of e-commerce diffusion both public and external institutions play key roles in creating conducive conditions and in providing the impetus necessary for the spread of e-commerce respectively. Kaba et al. looked into the factors which influence the utilization of the cellular phones in Guinea. The results obtained from a sample of 463 respondents indicated that familiarity of use, social influence, and the needs for mobility required by the task influence the usage of the phones.

Ziadi & Kuofie indicate that the progress made in ICT’s allows for storage and fast circulation of information. However, a survey conducted in Tunisia revealed that the Tunisian companies are not yet completely committed to the efficient use of information and communications. This lack of initiative is primarily explained by the fact that these new technologies require investments, including development of human resources, which the Tunisian companies do not feel ready to provide. Kyem & LeMaire discuss the mobile phone boom in Africa and examines the potential impacts of mobiles on the socio-economic development process in African countries. The paper explains that mobile phones may help create new jobs and new sources of revenue to the state as well as contribute to economic growth by widening markets, creating better information flow, lowering transaction costs, and becoming substitutes for costly transportation that is lacking in rural Africa. Ozkan et al. indicate that high quality IT support is an integral factor in the success of health sectors. They proposed a perspective noted through a process based assessment for IS effectiveness assessment (PB-ISAM). This was subsequently evaluated through three case organizations in the medical sector in Turkey.

Kodakanchi et al. indicate that the applicability of IT in various manufacturing and services sectors has significantly affected the global economy by providing information and development content on products and processes. Accordingly, faster rates of output and productivity growth have become the trends of information processing and communications. Advance countries, like USA, have reaped tremendous benefits. Unfortunately the same can not be said for developing countries, such as India and Ghana. Raji & Usoro report that despite rapid technological change in the 1990s, the inequality gap in per capital income between developed and developing countries has increased. The authors state that for ICT to help poverty reduction, poor countries must integrate ICT into the economic and social fabric of their nations by broadening access to ICT, training the population to better tap into the immense potential of ICT, and making the relevant policy adjustments in order to create the milieu in which individuals and investors will be able to benefit. Sihvonen states that the new mobile communication technologies are used for enhancing the existing financial enterprise systems with wireless communication extension and to create new services for nomadic users. The author developed prototype systems that are integral to existing traditional enterprise system solutions. The prototype was developed using constructive method including, analyzing the related publications and industry trends, interviewing experts in the financial services field and experimenting with the selected technologies.

Outcomes
The main outcomes of the conference included the use of ICT as ‘mandatory’ for economic development in Africa; that information and knowledge are essential raw materials for economic development with proposals for economic development models based on ICT for developing countries. That the new mobile communication technologies can be used for enhancing the existing financial enterprise systems with wireless communication extension to create new services for nomadic users. That IT provides the tools for everyone from small businesses to rural farmers to enable them market their businesses and/or services to a much wider market. However, African governments need to build infrastructures to allow ICTs to be accessible. That, the privacy, computer fraud and unauthorized access worries need to be addressed to ensure complete safety for all users if IT services Most critically, The CITED2006 linked participants to rural development projects, and international funding.

Acknowledgements
We are particularly grateful to Ghana Telecom University College, Garden City University College, North American Airlines, Ghana Export Finance Company, Cape Coast Cornel Internet & IT Services, Ghana BusyInternet Cafe, and Ghana Beltway Technologies. We also thank our outstanding keynote speakers, including Felix Tan of Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. We specifically would like to thank Gina Bannergy, Agnes Naomi Arthur and Francesca Haizel for their invaluable assistance in making the conference a success.

Table of Contents


In this Volume, the downloads# is the total number of downloads since publication.

Articles

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Policy for Change and the Mask for Development: A Critical Analysis of Zimbabwe’s E- Readiness Survey Report PDF
Brilliant Mhlanga # of downloads: 5605

E-Commerce Diffusion in Small Island Countries: The Influence of Institutions in Barbados PDF
Alemayehu Molla, Rodney Taylor, Paul S. Licker # of downloads: 5832

Explaining the Factors Influencing Cellular Phones Use in Guinea PDF
Bangaly Kaba, Amadou Diallo, Michel Plaisent, Prosper Bernard, Koffi N'Da # of downloads: 4323

Impact of ICT on Organizations in Tunisia PDF
Jameleddine Ziadi, Matthew H.S. Kuofie # of downloads: 3821

Transforming Recent Gains in the Digital Divide into Digital Opportunities: Africa and the Boom in Mobile Phone Subscription PDF
Peter A. Kwaku Kyem, Peter Kweku LeMaire # of downloads: 8370

Evaluation of a Hospital Information System in an International Context: Towards Implementing PB-ISM in Turkey PDF
Sevgi Özkan, Nazife Baykal, Murat Sincan # of downloads: 4232

An Economic Development Model for IT in Developing Countries PDF
Vishal Kodakanchi, Matthew H. S. Kuofie, E. Abuelyaman, Jihad Qaddour # of downloads: 5262

The Prospects and Problems of Adopting ICT for Poverty Eradication in Nigeria PDF
M. O. Raji, O. B. Ayoade, A. Usoro # of downloads: 6219

Ubiquitous Financial Services for Developing Countries PDF
Markus Sihvonen # of downloads: 4071



The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries.
ISSN: 1681-4835 www.ejisdc.org