Connecting South Africa: ICTs, Uneven Development and Poverty Debates
Knight, J. and Rogerson, C. (2018) (eds) ‘The Geography of South Africa: Contemporary Changes and New Directions’, Springer, Forthcoming
13 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2018
Date Written: June 2, 2018
Much has been written about information and communication technology (ICT) and its development potential in areas such as poverty reduction. Debates are framed around technocentric visions of development. This discourse on ICT-for-development (ICT4D) has opened the way for academic and policy debates surrounding ICT’s potential for development in Africa. By critically engaging with these debates, this chapter entangles key issues around ICT4D on the African continent to show how ICT might be implicated in uneven development. It then adopts the lens of South Africa to cover some ICT and poverty debates and shows that ICT is critical for development in South Africa, particularly at the individual level. The development policy prescription of the current South African government is heavily implicated towards this neoliberal line of thinking. Overall, there remains a need for further research to address how ICT can enable a change in the structural dynamics in the country that are key to poverty and inequality reduction.
Keywords: Africa, Development, ICT4D, Neoliberalism, Poverty reduction, South Africa
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