The Impact of Information Communication Technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa

By: Trisha Capansky  

It is no coincidence that developing nations, who are witnesses to the financial benefit garnered by technological advances in western nations, are looking to emulate western communication practices in hopes of a similar outcome. Consequently, there is little doubt that a transformation in space and time ratios will occur within these developing regions. Yet, unlike in developed nations were the adaptation to contemporary communication platforms was arguably a three-hundred year process in the making, cultures in developing nations are undergoing changes that are controlled by how quickly outside investment can be secured and infrastructure can be put into place. With the adoption and popularity attributed to broadband technologies, the time gap is quickly narrowing. Emerging and developing countries present an unusual opportunity to examine electronic communication usage and impact on a culture. This proposed paper will provide an overview of our ongoing study on the impact of information communication technologies (ICTs) in sub-Saharan Africa. Data compiled from surveys disseminated within this region will be discussed with the question in mind: Does the technology change developing society and the types of communication, or is it simply providing a new means of transmission of the developing society’s norms of communication behavior?

Information Communication Technologies, Communication, Literacy, Infrastructure, Developing Countries, Africa, Infrastructure
Technologies in Society
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Trisha Capansky

Teacher, History, Independent Scholar

My teaching history includes four years teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses in technical and professional communication practices. These courses involve a theoretical and practical assessment of language usage as it is understood through existing and emerging media, and through social contexts. My primary research area is in the application and reception of nontraditional content/medium pairings. Particularly, my interests are in how government and workforce cultures use media to shape, modify, or reform both internal and external practices; the material history of texts; and reader/artifact relationships. In writing my dissertation I explored how the Declaration of Independence, as a new genre in political discourse, influences global relations. Beyond the dissertation and classroom, I am active within the local community. My involvement includes appointments to the planning board, zoning board of adjustment, and chamber of commerce. Currently I'm working with our state colonial history museum on a book preservation project.