Thursday, April 27, 2006

Reflections on the Information Society

The Information Society and the canopy that ICTs are offering wrings my neck!! Ever since the phenomenonal slogan Infomation and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) was drummed, the phrase ICT is quickly surpassing every other development aspect of the Information Society in Africa and developing countries! Any other issues have to toe the ICT movement. While it is true ICT offers great potential, Africa and other victims could soon find themselves in a development chaos of sorts for over jumping into the fray! I love to wonder!
To E-ready countries, ICTs have become the one vital tool through which the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) can be met! The ladder; the magic bullet; the everything for realising quicker development! But how about Africa the continent in which the very basics for participating in the Information Society are either inadequate or totally lacking! - The Sudan moreso the Southern Sudan and Darfur, Somalia, DR. Congo, my poor Pearl of Africa - Uganda, and many more LDCs world wide!

Okaaay! Africa is soon improving on its connectivity levels! A big Thank YOU to the Investors! "The easy cable is a fully integrated multi-technology network. It is an undersea fiber optic cable that will link the countries of East Africa to the rest of the world."

But what are ICTs!? ICTs in a nutshell are Technologies for Communication of Information! They are definately technologies!

According to the WSIS Declaration of Princples Article 8, the tenents of PROSPERITY were mentioned as: Eduction, Knowledge, Information, and Communication!
NOTE: Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) were not mentioned in Article 8 of the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) Declaration of Principles as tenents of prosperity!! They are however sprinkled all over and spiced the Declarations.

The real declaration Article 8 reads thus: "We recognize that education, knowledge, information and communication are at the core of human progress, endeavour and well-being. Further, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have an immense impact on virtually all aspects of our lives. The rapid progress of these technologies opens completely new opportunities to attain higher levels of development. The capacity of these technologies to reduce many traditional obstacles, especially those of time and distance, for the first time in history makes it possible to use the potential of these technologies for the benefit of millions of people in all corners of the world."

If this is the case, then WHY not intensily the promotion of the cores of PROSPERITY namely: Education, Knowledge, Information, and Communication!?
Have ICTs become more important than those cores of human well being!? What can we do without!? What is at stake!? The internet or is it the $$ or human prosperity!? WSIS!? Is it an Information Society or a Telecommunication Society we are experiencing!?

I am left wondering: Have we been disinfomed! Have we been hoodwinked!? Have we been dopped!? How will a continent that derives so little pleasure from using especially the Internet of all ICTs benefit from the ICT revolution! Are there alternative ICTs more relevant to our situation! Are we on the right track!? What could be the driving force$!? Is the whole thing WSIS about ICTs and the Internet in particular!? Where are the African researches on this thing Informatics!?


Ntwiga said...

Interesting post.

I should mention that your site looks terrible on Firefox which is what I use, I was forced to fire up IE to read it.

Henry Owera said...

Thank you Ntwiga! My site was terrible on Firefox. I have since made changes and I am so sure its now alright on Firefox, Internet Explorer and even Opera browsers! Its very AKUNA MATATish now! Thank once again!