Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 220

Full Length Research Paper

Impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on millennium development goals (MDGs): Context for diffusion and adoption of ICT innovations in East and Southern Africa

Gabriel Kabanda
Zimbabwe Open University 7th Floor Stanley House, Corner First Street/ J. Moyo Avenue, P. O. Box MP 1119, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 June 2011
  •  Published: 31 August 2011


Information and communication technologies (ICTs) impact all the millennium development goals (MDGs), especially in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The correlation between ICTs and high economic growth has not been well researched in most African countries. The specific objectives of the research are: to assess the impact of ICTs on MDGs, to ascertain the ICT impact on economic growth, and determine the pattern for diffusion and adoption of ICT innovations in East and Southern Africa, and to recommend a development model or a framework for economic growth for these African countries. The methodology used was largely qualitative on technology capacity needs assessment that covered 6 countries, and also quantitative on gross domestic product (GDP) and Infodensity covering 18 countries in East and Southern Africa. GDP and Infodensity data was collected for 18 African countries to ascertain the link between ICTs diffusion and GDP density per country. The mean for the 18 East and Southern African countries with respect to main telephone density is 3.8%, mobile subscribers is 27.87%, and internet use is at 4.87%. Capacity needs assessment included both the human capital development and social capital aspects in order to achieve sustainable information and communication technology capacity development. Human capital development is central to capacity needs.  There is a strong correlation between ICT diffusion and high economic growth, evidenced by high mobile density. The mobile phone has become a good measure of wealth for an average African. The solution to poverty and under-development in these African countries is, therefore, knowledge and economic empowerment. The recommended sustainable technology development with an African model is proposed.

Key words: Information and communication technologies, millennium development goals, sustainable development, diffusion, infodensity, gross domestic product.