Why are ICT development projects failing in Africa This week in class we questioned the success of ICT projects and their strengths and weaknesses and I immediately thought about projects that have been implemented in certain regions in Africa and the longevity of them. As I was browsing the internet I came across an article titled “Africa: Failed ICT Development Projects- Sweeting It Under the Carpet and Moving On?” The article starts off by stating the positive effects of ICT and how they have the potential to improve projects making them more sustainable. It also speaks on why governments and communities push to have projects that are geared toward health, education, agriculture, employment, female empowerment etc. However Inka Barnett, author of the article outlined specific failures of of an ICT project conducted in Tanznia by Daraja (NGO). The failures were presented by Ben Taylor who was the leader of the project, which was called the Maji Matone program. The aim of the project was to
Encourage citizens to put pressure on their local authorities to maintain and repair broken-down water pumps by using mobile phones. Using a simple SMS-message local communities were asked to report on the state of their water supply to the authorities. Local radio stations were simultaneously informed and followed-up the action the local water authorities would take in response to the text message (Barnett, allafrica.com).
Before the implementation of the project the community was thrilled about the potential of the program. Maji Matone received positive feedback both internationally and nationally. Unfortunately the project failed because the NGO projected to receive 3,000 texts but only received 53 (Barnett, allafrica.com). The project failed due gender discrimination, political issues and trust, digital divide. The project goal was too ambitious especially due to the lack of resources many Tanzania have.