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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Debating ICT policy first principles for the Global South: the case of South Africa
Author:Duncan, JaneISNI
Periodical:Communicatio: South African journal for communication theory and research (ISSN 1753-5379)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:information technology
government policy
access to information
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02500167.2015.1020821
Abstract:This article builds on the work of Robin Mansell and civil society inputs to the World Summit on the Information Society, to propose a set of first principles for ICT policy-making for the global South. It draws on the case of South Africa, which has experienced a troubled path towards convergence of its media and telecommunications sectors into one ICT sector. Shying away from the realities of convergence will not help countries in the global South, such as South Africa, to confront challenges of ICT adoption and usage, such as the very real and present danger of ICTs reproducing or even reinforcing existing informational and communications inequalities. In fact, this article argues that policy is needed to ensure that the benefits of ICTs are generalised across society. However, in the absence of radical approaches to ICT policy-making, these developments risk becoming under-regulated or even unregulated, leaving them to the vagaries of the market. If policies are developed, they may be laundered from other contexts that do not speak to the informational and communications challenges of countries like South Africa. This article argues for democratic alternatives to the information society narrative that underpins so much ICT policy-making in the global South, and that promotes market-led, modernist, deterministic approaches to ICT development. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]