Information and Communication Technologies and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries : the Case of Sub Saharan Africa countries
Lot Tcheeko, Marcellin Ndong Ntah
There is a growing interest in using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support poverty reduction efforts and strategies in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These interest ended up revealing how much the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) of many african nations have underestimated the importance of ICTs as a development tool. The fact that so little was mentionned about the use of ICTs for poverty alleviation and creation of employment highlighted the confusion, and uncertainty of decision makers. At the country level, ICT is still to be effectively integrated into national poverty alleviation and development strategies. The question then is how ICTs can help achieve those objectives. How can ICTs be used as tools to fight against poverty? Poverty is widely recognized as multidimensional, encompassing food security, health, education, rights, security and dignity, amongst others as stressed by Bachelor & al in a model showing the intricate linkages between ICTs and most PRSP goals.
The link between ICTs and poverty reduction strategy is therefore not that obvious. Although, researchers and development partners involved in poverty alleviation recognize more easily the linkage between ICT and poverty reduction strategies. In any case, it is a prerequisite to have a conducive environment and country readiness for ICTs implementation. Unfortunately, in many Sub-Saharan Africa countries, there is not yet a clear and effective policy and strategy for the use of ICT.