National Policies: First Proper Infrastructure and Good Governance

While discussing the second digital divide in an article from News 24 the author Christina touches on the point that laptops and mobile phones are not reliable or helpful ICTs if a country has bigger issues, such as frequent power outages or  no electricity. I find this interesting because I have spent time in Sengal and personally experienced frequent power outages, sometimes only having electricity for five hours a day. The Senegalese government has been forced to cut electricity in a rotation of different neighborhoods in order to conserve money.  This has caused many businesses, schools, and institutions that are without a generator to lose productive time and money.

Without power the internet doesn’t work, batteries go dead, and food goes bad. As Elimane Ndour puts a light-hearted spin on it: “Nowadays when you go for a haircut, you better look for a salon with a backup generator if you don’t want to end up with half your head untouched or your beard half-trimmed,” (News24). But from personal accounts, if you don’t want to have your weave put in by candle light, you better take Elimane’s suggestion literally.

Further, the article mentions that riots have resulted from the outdated power plants in Senegal that generally cost more to run than they are worth. One man even died in last month’s protest. These riots have been a hot political topic as Senegal faces a presidential election in 2012. Ineffective implementation of ICTs occurs in Senegal due to budget problems, a corrupt government, and outdated technology. It is important to have proper infrastructure, good governance, and effective national ICT policies and strategies in a country in order for ICTs to be efficient.

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About emswiet

I am a senior at Tulane studying International Development and Anthropology. After graduation, I hope to apply what I have learned in undergrad while working abroad and economically empowering women through their art. I have lived in Chicago, New Orleans, and Senegal. View all posts by emswiet

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