From the margins to the center: ICTs as tools for development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There is always something to talk about in the continuous search for the answer to Africa’s development problem. Back in the 1950s and 1960s as African countries fought for political independence, development theorists from the West, mostly the United States, were busy seeking ways to create a modern society out of the ‘dark continent.’ Theorists such as W.W. Rostow (1960) set out the five stages through which African traditional societies would be transformed into modern societies. David McLelland (1963) defined the pathway toward becoming an Achieving Society while Alex Inkeles and David H. Smith (1974) were to review the development process and prescribe further strategies for Becoming Modern. There was an interesting intersection between the work of theorists who focused on economic development and those who addressed other types of development, namely, political and social development. At the nexus of these two types of development was a focus on the place of communication in development. This was anchored on the theory that underdevelopment was a function of ‘attitudes’ or a ‘state of mind’ (Harrison, 1985).1 Communication was therefore held out to be the key to development and modernization because through the gadgets of modern communication, people in underdeveloped societies would be exposed to modern values and attitudes that would in turn push them toward modernization. Lucian Pye (1963) and others particularly stressed the importance of communication in development in Communication and Political Development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAgenda Setting and Public Policy in Africa
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9781351960205
ISBN (Print)0754637085, 9780754637080
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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