Information and Communications Technologies as a Pathway from Poverty: Evidence from East Africa

Information and Communications Technologies as a Pathway from Poverty: Evidence from East Africa

Even prior to the current era of widespread mobile telephony and internet access, causal relationships between telecommunications infrastructure and economic output had been identified in the literature. Information and communication tech- nologies (ICTs) have also been argued to have a broader developmental impact and are proposed as powerful tools for empowerment and income generation in developing countries as well as for increasing access to education and other social services. Not all analysts are as sanguine about assuming a positive impact of ICTs on poverty reduction and some have expressed scepticism of the benefits of ICT. Access to information through ICT is a question not only of connectivity, but also of capability to use the new tools and relevant content provided in accessible and useful forms. Using panel data collected in East Africa in 2007/08 and 2010, this chapter explores this relationship and demonstrates that ICT can indeed assist in poverty reduction. 

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.