Open access towards bridging the digital divide: policies and strategies for developing countries

Ahmed, Allam (2007) Open access towards bridging the digital divide: policies and strategies for developing countries. Information Technology for Development, 13 (4). pp. 337-361. ISSN 0268-1102

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Abstract

There is a consensus that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) hold great promise for development by connecting people to more accurate and up-to-date sources of information and knowledge. However, the evidence so far shows that the benefits accrued from the utilization of ICTs have been inequitably distributed with most developing countries (particularly Africa) facing the prospect of being marginalized. Inequality of access to information and technological advantages among scientists becomes a crucial factor in formal science, and Africa can be said to be suffering from a scientific information famine. So the key question addressed in this article is, will open access solve Africa's information famine and help the continent bridge the digital divide? This article aims to assess and evaluate the open access movement as a proposed solution to avoid the restrictions over accessing scientific knowledge in Africa. I find it more important that the article outlines the problems that can be observed and what opportunities for building OA in Africa are available. Finally, the article concludes with a discussion of strategic and policy implications of these findings for bridging the digital divide and building OA in Africa.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The paper argues that adoption of open access, especially to scientific publications, is a step in the right direction for Sub-Saharan Africa, but will not as a technical fix solve all the problems of `digital divide¿ faced by such countries. A broader range of policies for effective implementation is needed.
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Allam Ahmed
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:38
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2012 15:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21549
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