Universal Access Wheel: Towards Achieving Access to ICT in Africa

Oyedemi, Toks
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LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg
This paper argues against the idea that simply providing access to information and communication technology devices and infrastructures in semi-urban, rural and remote locales has accelerated the universal service and access programme in Africa. In doing this, the paper posits an holistic approach to extending information and communication technology services. This approach takes cognisance of the socio-cultural landscape and also notes that information and communication technology service extension should work in tandem with extension of other social utilities. A universal access wheel is conceptualised, which proposes that various elements should be in place, in order to achieve the goal of universal access, specifically in Africa. The paper revisits the diverse meanings of universal service and access and analyses the importance of providing access to information and communication technology services in developing regions of the world, such as Africa. The universal access wheel does not project totality; rather it provides flexibility and dynamism typical of the information and communication technology sector. Consequently, as other elements and issues arise, they may be added to the wheel.
Oyedemi, T. (2004). Universal access wheel: Towards achieving access to ICT in Africa. The Southern African Journal of Information and Communication (SAJIC), 5, 90-107. https://doi.org/10.23962/10539/19818