The impact of mobile phone uses in the developing world: giving voice to the rural poor in the Congo

Cibangu, S.K., Hepworth, M. and Champion, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-1657-6349, 2017. The impact of mobile phone uses in the developing world: giving voice to the rural poor in the Congo. International Journal of Information Communication Technologies and Human Development, 9 (2), pp. 20-48. ISSN 1935-5661

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Abstract

In recent years, the rise of information and communication technologies (ICTs) contrasted with the dire living conditions of the world’s poorest has been the subject of debate among industry and academia. However, despite the amount of writings produced on mobile phones, Western bias is surprisingly unbridledly prevailing alongside the fêted dissemination of mobile phones. Expansive literature tends to present the rapid adoption of mobile phones among rural individuals, with little to no indication of how local values and voices are respected or promoted. We undertook semi-structured interviews with 16 rural chiefs to inquire into ways in which mobile phones enabled socio-economic development in the rural Congo. Rather than using quantitative, large-scale, or top-down data, we sought to give voice to chiefs themselves about the role of mobile phones. We found that Western bias dominates the literature and deployment of mobile phones more than usually acknowledged. We suggested some paths forward, while bringing the African communal Utu or Ubuntu culture to the center stage.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Information Communication Technologies and Human Development
Creators: Cibangu, S.K., Hepworth, M. and Champion, D.
Publisher: IGI Global
Date: 1 April 2017
Volume: 9
Number: 2
ISSN: 1935-5661
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.4018/ijicthd.2017040102DOI
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 22 Jun 2018 15:32
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2018 13:23
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33894

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