Putting African Accents in United Nations Internet for Development Policies

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3 Scopus citations


The United Nations and its specialized agencies have formulated and transferred communication policies to Africa since the late 1950s. These United Nations policies emphasized the roles of the mass media as catalysts for development. The advent of the Internet led to a transfer of these policies from real space to cyberspace. At the turn of the 21st century, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) emphasized reduction of the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world, and encouraged Internet connectivity as the panacea for the continent's development problems. With the development of telecommunications and broadband infrastructures in Africa, information and communication technology policies need to go beyond infrastructural development and connectivity. Technology literacy, production of online content in African languages, communication as a human right, freedom of expression, and respect for individual privacy need to be emphasized as part of policy transfer initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-356
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Digital divide
  • Internet connectivity in Africa
  • Internet diffusion
  • Internet for development
  • United Nations Policy transfer
  • mobile telephony in Africa


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