Information and communication technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case for National
Information Infrastructure

This research presents a conceptual introduction to the broad topics of information infrastructure and information
and communication technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Firstly, it presents arguments for the utility value of
information and communication technologies in socio-economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Secondly, a
conceptual framework is articulated which, drawing on social shaping and constructive technology assessment
theory, provides policy planners with an empowering analytical perspective from which to view the construction of
information infrastructure.

The development of an information infrastructure is a uniquely complex and dynamic task, involving the
co-ordination of a portfolio of internally and externally driven factors and projects. While it is true to say that
countries in the Third World have to grapple with the state shrinking strategies of the neo-liberal project, this
does not undermine the crucial role that they must play in co-ordinating the use of information and
communications technologies within an organisational framework.