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Journal cover: Electronic Library, The

Electronic Library, The

ISSN: 0264-0473

Online from: 1983

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Empowering Africa's development using ICT in a knowledge management approach

Document Information:
Title:Empowering Africa's development using ICT in a knowledge management approach
Author(s):Priti Jain, (University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana)
Citation:Priti Jain, (2006) "Empowering Africa's development using ICT in a knowledge management approach", Electronic Library, The, Vol. 24 Iss: 1, pp.51 - 67
Keywords:Africa, Botswana, Communication technologies, Developing countries, Human capital, Knowledge management
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/02640470610649245 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to explore the role of information and communication technology (ICT) using a knowledge management (KM) approach. The knowledge in the context of this paper refers to indigenous knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a literature review.

Findings – The discussion suggests that, in spite of various infrastructural limitations in Africa, KM applications can still play a vital role in indigenous knowledge management and consequently empowering Africa's development.

Research limitations/implications – The major hindrance is the fact that Africa has thus far achieved little on its own; rather it has been emulating the progress made in the developed world. Because of this, there is a scarcity of in-depth knowledge related to an African context. In truth, some areas in which ICT has the potential to change, pertaining to the economy and society, have not been observed in any way. More research is required to identify specific needs of a country.

Practical implications – The paper supposes that in spite of all these variations and implications KM can be adapted for indigenous knowledge. The paper contributes in terms of the literature review to showing how tacit knowledge can be managed using ICT. It can be useful for the researchers and knowledge workers. Recommendations are made concerning what needs to be done to improve ICT conditions in Africa such as: ICT policy formulation; literacy programs; legal and regulatory framework; manpower training; and empowerment of local people.

Originality/value – Little has been done in Africa to explore the potential of using ICT as a mechanism with a knowledge management approach, in the thrust of Africa's development. This paper proposes how it is possible to use ICT to manage and disseminate indigenous knowledge.

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