AJIC Issue 12, 2012

Permanent URI for this collection

This issue of the African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC) raises, in interesting ways, a number of issues that have become core to the debate about the role of new ICTs in the African context. The critical issue in relation to ICT is the potential of these technologies to advance democratic practices that enable wider participation in decision making, through interactive channels. As highlighted by the case studies from Zambia, South Africa and Egypt, e-government is not only about infrastructure, legal/institutional environments, and computerising government administration, but also very much about citizen engagement.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 12 of 12
  • Item
    e-Government and the Cameroon Cybersecurity Legislation 2010: Opportunities and Challenges
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Asongwe, Patricia Ngeminang
    The EGOV.CM programme, led by the National Agency for ICT (ANTIC) aims to promote access to government information and services, provide IT support to the public administration reform programme, promote the objectives of national policies and provide an appropriate legal and regulatory environment. However, government and citizen reliance on ICTs presents a security challenge, given the emergence of cybercrime across the globe. This requires changes tolegislation drafted before the electronic age. Outdated laws result in impunity, with the country a safe haven for cybercriminals, while e-government transactions may be unprotected and may therefore be discouraged. Cameroon’s e-laws of 2010 (cybersecurity and electronic communications) provide a legal framework for the protection of ICT networks and critical infrastructures, creating an enabling environment for e-government services. These research notes highlight the importance of the e-laws for effective Cameroonian public administration, and discuss the challenges for implementation of e-government
  • Item
    e-Alexandria 2005-2010: A Multi-Perspective Analysis
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Elkadi, Hatem A.; Abdelsalam, Hisham M.
    The Egyptian local e-government programme was established in 2002 to enhance both the quality and efficiency of government systems. The e-Alexandria project, initiated in 2003, represents a milestone in this programme. The project incorporated seven councils that underwent technical, business and work-environment restructuring. This involved architectural remodelling, renovations, furnishing, technological infrastructure setup and back office preparations, as well as personnel training and backlog data entry. Later extensions included content development and an online services portal. This article presents a brief review of the process of constructing e-government systems experienced through the e-Alexandria project, which has continued to evolve over a full decade. The article provides a view of three services, namely elevator installation permits, street occupation permits and retail shop licences, as these are very important local government services for communities. The article uses the Lenk and Traunmuller (2000) multiple perspectives to document the public service reforms that occurred in the introduction of e-government. It comments on continuation of the local e-government programme post the January 25th revolution.
  • Item
    e-Government Lessons from South Africa 2001-2011: Institutions, State of Progress and Measurement
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Cloete, Fanie
    Electronic governance is the future of public governance globally. Governments that do not make the transition from paper-based systems of public administration to electronic platforms of public governance may swiftly undermine their chances of developing their societies as 21st century information societies. At the turn of the century, South Africa started out as a leader in e-government among developing countries. A decade later, it has been surpassed by states that were much less developed. Why did this happen? Can the competitive edge that South Africa had 10 years ago be regained, and if so, how? This article summarises the strategic importance of the shift from paper-based public administration to electronic governance. It uses the Rorissa, Demissie and Pardo (2011) model of e-government assessment to analyse progress in South Africa’s migration to a digital state. It presents a perspective on institutional arrangements, the state of e-government and the e-barometer measurement approach. It discusses the reasons behind the decade-long stagnation in the South African migration to electronic platforms of governance and concludes by identifying the main policy and implementation lessons that can be learned. These lessons may have relevance to many developing countries, including those on the African continent.
  • Item
    SERVQUAL as a Socio-Technical Approach to Measuring e-Government Service Quality and Guiding e-Governance Strategies
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Twinomurinzi, Hossana; Zwane, Mphikeleli Gabriel; Debusho, Legesse Kassa
    e-Government services and e-governance have been embraced in many African countries. Nonetheless, measuring the value of e-government remains a challenge. Key to a successful evaluation of progress towards e-governance is the contextual approach, in which ICT is embedded as part of a holistic solution to governance. When carried through without considering the complementary influences of society on ICT and of ICT on society, e-government services can lead to little added value, or even to an exacerbation of societal problems and lack of progress towards e-governance. Although much has been written on e-governance in Africa, few authors have extended the discussion to measuring quality of service and lack of progress towards e-governance. In South Africa, the Batho Pele (People First) policy of service quality is the contextual approach within which e-governance is embedded, because of its good governance attributes. This article relates Batho Pele to SERVQUAL, a framework widely used to measure customer service quality in the retail sector, and adapts the framework for measuring service quality in community e-government service centres, known as Thusong Service Centres (TSC). The analysis, using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), is consistent with what is known: service quality in TSCs is low and requires regular measurement and evaluation to inform future quality improvements. The article argues that an adapted SERVQUAL instrument, taking into account Batho Pele principles and situational context, can be used as a guide to innovation in e-government service delivery. It is an appropriate sociotechnical tool to collect data to inform e-governance strategies in African countries which share the same social context as South Africa.
  • Item
    Enabling g-Government in the Gauteng City-Region
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Wray, Chris; Van Olst, Rex
    The term g-government, a subset of e-government, was first introduced in 2000 as the convergence of geographical information systems (GIS) and the Internet to create more effective government interaction with citizens. More recently, it has been revised to describe the combination of GIS and Web 2.0 technologies that can enhance government services and delivery. Most government data is spatially based and can be visualised and interpreted using a Web GIS mapping application, but this data is often not available to other government departments, or the general public, frustratingly so. In South Africa, problems with accessing spatial data continue to exist. The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) recognised that g-government remains a challenge within the Gauteng city-region (GCR), and in 2010 developed a GIS website for the GCRO and Gauteng Provincial Government. This article is presented in the context of the global shift to fully connected governments through technologies such as Government 2.0 and g-government. It provides a specific focus on the GCRO GIS website and how it enables g-government by providing local and provincial government with the spatial data and tools required to better understand the city-region, and to make informed decisions about future development in the city-region. The article also reviews Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) scores measured at the launch of the website. Finally, monthly website visits are examined. This confirms that local and provincial government are ready to utilise the g-government website.
  • Item
    Telecentre Approaches in Cameroon and Kenya Illuminated Using Behavioural Archaeology
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Hallberg, David; Godem, Carole; Dzimey, Walter
    Throughout the last decade, telecentres have provided access to electronic communications as a supporting ICT infrastructure for community, economic, educational and social development. While the origins of telecentres can be traced to Europe's telecottage and community technology centres in the United States in the 1980s, telecentres have taken varying forms and approaches. This article illuminates approaches used by telecentre projects in Kenya and Cameroon, using behavioural archaeology. Literature stresses that behavioural archaeology refers to understanding the artefact as a tool in human activity and technology as the embodiment of human activity in the artefact. Application of behavioural archaeology to telecentres sheds light on the nature of technology use leading to particular results or societal outcomes. Using a qualitative methodology, managers, local contractors and technicians at local telecentres were interviewed. The results show differing approaches to the purpose and design of telecentres. In Kenya, the focus is on e-government services, while in Cameroon it is on conflict solving among different societal groups. In its use of behavioural archaeology, this article adds a new perspective on the challenges of making ICT and electronic media available in resource-poor environments.
  • Item
    Grassroots Community Participation as a Key to e-Governance Sustainability in Africa
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Ochara, Nixon Muganda
    This article explores the theoretical sustainability of e-governance in Africa by assessing the nature of participation of stakeholders. It adopts an explanatory critique, drawing on perspectives debated in scholarly literature and based on reviews of country approaches. The exploration takes into account historical antecedents to participation in e-governance in Africa, revealing that dominant stakeholder interests effectively lock out the majority of citizens from active participation in e-governance, except as consumers of public services delivered through e-government. It considers the nature of attachment of stakeholders to e-governance projects. Global stakeholders increasingly have a low degree of attachment, while there is a relatively high degree of enrolment of local actors. The concept of e-governance remains solid, but is dispensable, since although government agencies have “embraced” the message of e-government, certain local actors are weakly mobilised. The policy process has failed to nurture the heterogeneity of actors, specifically grassroots actors, that is required for effective e-governance.
  • Item
    A Decade of e-Government Research in Africa
    (2012-12-15) Burke, Mark
    The state of research on e-government evolution in Africa is ripe for analysis. The article analyses e-government research and scholarly publishing through an assessment of the key features of the research and the community spearheading its emergence. This exploratory study seeks to map the terrain of e-government research in Africa at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. For this purpose, 50 articles were identified using the Scopus citation database, and were subjected to content analysis. This work is intended to encourage continental e-government researchers to further explore and analyse the e-government phenomenon from varying starting points, perspectives, disciplinary orientations and research traditions, and to pave the way for a greater understanding of the dynamics, nature and key features of e-government on the continent.
  • Item
    Editorial: Perspective on a Decade of e-Government in Africa
    (2012-12-15) Kupe, Tawana; Okello, Dorothy
  • Item
    A Critical Analysis of e-Government in Zambia
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2012-12-15) Mzyece, Mjumo
    This article presents a critical analysis of e-government in Zambia. It reviews the relevant literature and then explains the structure and operation of the Zambian government in the context of e-government. It presents and analyses the results of a small sample study on e-government in Zambia and points to six areas for policy reform, highlighting leadership, stakeholder engagement, prioritisation, increased funding, private sector participation and mobile channels as key elements needed for future success.