ICT AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF NIGERIA

Abstract

Author(s): Joseph O. JIBOKU

The emergence of information and communication technology (ICT), especially in developing countries, can best be described as epochal. This is mainly because of the socio-economic transformation it has brought about. Virtually every aspect of modern life has been touched by ICT: countries have witnessed massive injection of funds through direct foreign investment, banking operations have been revolutionised, hitherto unknown employment creation opportunities have become a reality, business operations have been enhanced without the necessity for physical contact, and vehicular movement has been enhanced in many countries. In many developing countries, the traditional drawbacks of poor infrastructure have been largely overcome through the deployment of ICT. In many African countries, however, the actual impact of ICT on socio-economic development has yet to be studied in any systematic way – a lapse attributable in part to the fast pace of change that characterises the ICT sector, but also to the fact that compared to the developed countries, African countries still lag behind in ICT investment, and the low-level of support by government and the private sector to research devoted to track development trends. This paper explores current literature on the impact of ICT on socio-economic transformation based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) of Fred D Davis (1989). Focusing on Nigeria, but with lessons drawn from South Africa and other African countries, the paper highlights, among other things, the factors that enhance or inhibit the contributions that ICT could make in the country’s drive to transform the economy.

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