IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/titdxx/v19y2013i1p24-39.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A knowledge economy or an information society in Africa? Thintegration and the mobile phone revolution

Author

Listed:
  • Pádraig Carmody

Abstract

Much has been written about the impacts of new information and communication technology in Africa and its transformational socio-economic impacts. The penetration of mobile phones in particular has been particularly marked in recent years. This paper seeks to interrogate the hypothesis of transformation by examining the ways in which Africa is integrated into the global mobile phone value chain, and then the uses to which this technology is put on the continent. There is a fundamental distinction between having a knowledge economy and an information society. While mobiles are having significant, and sometimes welfare-enhancing impacts, their use is embedded in existing relations of social support, and also conflict. Consequently, their impacts are dialectical, facilitating change, but also reinforcing existing power relations. While Africa may be an information society, it is not, as yet, developing a knowledge economy. Mobile phone usage then represents a form of thin, rather than thick, integration ("thintegration") in the global economy, which, because it does not lead to high value-added exports, does not fundamentally alter the continent's dependent position.

Suggested Citation

  • Pádraig Carmody, 2013. "A knowledge economy or an information society in Africa? Thintegration and the mobile phone revolution," Information Technology for Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 24-39, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:titdxx:v:19:y:2013:i:1:p:24-39
    DOI: 10.1080/02681102.2012.719859
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/02681102.2012.719859
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harry G. Broadman, 2007. "Africa's Silk Road : China and India's New Economic Frontier," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7186.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2018. "Recent finance advances in information technology for inclusive development: a systematic review," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 65-93, October.
    2. Asongu, Simplice, 2017. "Mobile Phone Innovation and Technology-driven Exports in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 84040, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2017.
    3. Simplice Asongu, 2017. "ICT, Openness and CO2 emissions in Africa," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 17/055, African Governance and Development Institute..
    4. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2017. "Recent finance advances in information technology for inclusive development: a survey," Research Africa Network Working Papers 17/009, Research Africa Network (RAN).
    5. Asongu, Simplice A. & Le Roux, Sara & Biekpe, Nicholas, 2018. "Enhancing ICT for environmental sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 209-216.
    6. repec:eee:enepol:v:111:y:2017:i:c:p:353-361 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Simplice A. Asongu & John C. Anyanwu & Vanessa S. Tchamyou, 2017. "Technology-driven information sharing and conditional financial development in Africa," Research Africa Network Working Papers 17/010, Research Africa Network (RAN).
    8. Asongu, Simplice A. & Le Roux, Sara & Biekpe, Nicholas, 2017. "Environmental degradation, ICT and inclusive development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 353-361.
    9. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu & Chris Pyke, 2019. "The Comparative Economics of ICT, Environmental Degradation and Inclusive Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 143(3), pages 1271-1297, June.
    10. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta, 2017. "The Role of Openness in the Effect of ICT on Governance," MPRA Paper 84344, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. repec:spr:jknowl:v:10:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s13132-017-0500-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta, 2017. "Openness, ICT and Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 83070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Simplice A. Asongu & Ndemaze Asongu, 2019. "The Role of Mobile Phones in Governance-Driven Technology Exports in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 10(2), pages 849-867, June.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:titdxx:v:19:y:2013:i:1:p:24-39. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/titd20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.