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How ready is Africa to join the knowledge economy?

How ready is Africa to join the knowledge economy?

“In times past, we searched for gold, precious stones, minerals, and ore. Today, it is knowledge that makes us rich and access to information is all-powerful in enabling individual and collective success.” Lesotho Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, 2005. Changes in the ways knowledge is created and used — and how this is enabled […]

How useful are volunteer crisis-mappers in a humanitarian crisis?

User-generated content can provide a useful source of information during humanitarian crises like armed conflict or natural disasters. With the rise of interactive websites, social media, and online mapping tools, volunteer crisis mappers are now able to compile geographic data as a humanitarian crisis unfolds, allowing individuals across the world to organize as ad hoc […]

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Has Internet policy had any effect on Internet penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa?

There is a consensus among researchers that ICT is an engine for growth, and it’s also considered by the OECD to be a part of fundamental infrastructure, like electricity and roads. The last decade has seen a rapid growth of Internet access across Africa, although it has not been evenly distributed. Some African countries have […]

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Why we shouldn’t believe the hype about the Internet “creating” development

Vast sums of money have been invested in projects to connect the world’s remaining four billion people, with these ambitious schemes often presenting digital connectivity as a means to achieve a range of social and economic developmental goals. This is especially the case for Africa, where Internet penetration rates remain relatively low, while the need […]

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New Report: Risks and Rewards of Online Gig Work at the Global Margins

The growth of online gig work — paid work allocated and delivered by way of internet platforms without a contract for long-term employment — has been welcomed by economic development experts, and the world’s largest global development network is promoting its potential to aid human development. There are hopes that online gig work, and the […]

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What Impact is the Gig Economy Having on Development and Worker Livelihoods?

As David Harvey famously noted, workers are unavoidably place-based because “labor-power has to go home every night.” But the widespread use of the Internet has changed much of that. The confluence of rapidly spreading digital connectivity, skilled but under-employed workers, the existence of international markets for labour, and the ongoing search for new outsourcing destinations, […]

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Examining the data-driven value chains that are changing Rwanda’s tea sector

There has been a lot of hope and publicity about the economic potential of increased Internet connectivity in the East African region; including the hope of disintermediation and better connection to global markets. Chris Foster discusses the findings of an OII project on Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa. Through surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, the project examines the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa, comparing those expectations to the on-the-ground effects of broadband connectivity.

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Why haven’t digital platforms transformed firms in developing countries? The Rwandan tourism sector explored

There has been a lot of hope and publicity about the economic potential of increased Internet connectivity in the East African region; including the hope of disintermediation and better connection to global markets. Chris Foster discusses the findings of an OII project on Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa. Through surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, the project examines the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa, comparing those expectations to the on-the-ground effects of broadband connectivity.

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The economic expectations and potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa

There has been a lot of hope and publicity about the economic potential of increased Internet connectivity in the East African region; including the hope of disintermediation and better connection to global markets. Chris Foster discusses initial findings of an OII project on Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa. Through surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, the project examines the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa, comparing those expectations to the on-the-ground effects of broadband connectivity.

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The scramble for Africa’s data

Africa is fast becoming a source of ‘big data’, however there are big holes in the governance of the technology. The OII’s Linnet Taylor asks what can incentivise African countries’ citizens and policymakers to address privacy in parallel with (rather than after) the collection of massive amounts of personal data, how to devise privacy framework models for groups with restricted access to technology, and how such a system can be participatory enough to be relevant to the needs of particular countries and populations.

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