Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The song ICT4D is abstract and obstructive

Real demand for ICT should not depend on massive advertisement on the part of telecommunication companies but more from investments in education and capacity building as more people may begin utilising ICTs, and ICT Ministries. And oh yes, may also think about the need for national ICT policies, and strategies, define the roles of the public, and private sectors, and civil societies in regards the revolution ICT is causing. Only then can ICT become nutritious for holistic development in Uganda, South Sudan, and Africa. A phrase has been edited to suit Salam Taki.

The title of the blog article was inspired by an article published in the The Monitor website and authored by one Mr. Aramanzan Madanda. Read his article published on the 16th May 2008 entitled ICT hype is a joke. A phrase in that article was the subject for the fore mentioned edit. The motivation for writing this article comes after reading a counter argument article in the same media by a one student of Msc. Information Technology for Management, Conventry University, a Mr. Ivan Kahangire's article. And there was this urge to weigh claims with a Salam Taki article alleging ICT for development is hocus pocus. Treachery of the highest order ...' published published Monday, March 31, 2008 under a title Rocking the Boat.

Mr. Aramanzan Madanda has read widely and knew his trade. Had the chance to listen to him and will say, was he just being at times in the same lambda with Salam Taki? ICT4D song is really pathetic. Like a wild beast tearing through a forest, here and there left up right down. It is like singing a song one doesn't understand but should love all the same and all the time and yet sings it so loudly. It is ICT. While the soon-to-be permanently head damaged PHD holder was discussing competition among telecommunication companies in Uganda and was irked as to why these corporations were obsessed with identifying with star musicians, he soon fell into singing the auld usually sung loud song dna banjuka tu ict njakunoba i4ict song. It is also broken here that ICT4D was crap.

ICT on their own are merely gadgets, an industry and less worth to bring about solutions and the development being sought. Thus the mantra, a hocus pocus, ICT4D is deemed crap. However, when ICT is systematically integrated with sciences, people, and domains like health, education, medicine, etc, ICTs will be seen to cause much cherished holistic developments and solutions and at that point we should no longer hype ICTs are causing the development but a system causing development. Such should be the light in which ICTs contribute to development.

ICT hype is a joke didn't go well with Ivan and so our Msc. IT for Management fellow was drawn in and he drew the dagger: ICT is a key tool for development. Lets understand it this way: Like dancing to a tune so compelling that one just has to go a dance school just to learn how to dance it best. One books a break off to display what one has learnt so far if anywhere but on the big platform open to a critiquing. Salam Taki don't head that way. We shan't. So lets instead welcome and salute the learning process. Ivan, Kije, ay, horro, ay, agandi, ndimarungi. Welcome bro. Lets critique.

Ivan, ICT4D is a ride. We are yet to come to terms with its nitty gritties. Salam Taki hopes that ICT4D shall eventually become ICT in development. It is like Space conceiving beautiful kittens we may label informatics or e -*, where, "*" could be domains such as commerce, health, banking, citizenship, education, governance, journalism, name it but all components in a development. Oh shall we?

Space is the name of a cat of a blogger, the 24th Comrade . Space recently gave birth to three beautiful kittens. The phrase Space was therefore used figuratively to illustrate the relationship as in the cat giving forth kittens. ICT, for instance (and health) brings about e-health or health Informatics.

Henry Owera is a blogger whose blogging exercises are Information Society, ICT, informatics, mass media, new media, social media, information economy, e-citizenship, e-governance, policies, and strategies. He blogs on Uganda, Southern Sudan and Africa.
Blogging at URL http://www.owerahbits.blogspot.com/
l: owerah@gmail.com Skype: owerah14


The 27th Comrade said...

Yeah, I read Aramanzan Madanda's piece, and (strangely) I disagreed with it.
Your article says governments cannot champion ICT development. That, I agree with. It's an inventor's field, an innovator's field, so government can't be of much use, outside of providing infrastructure.

But when the infrastructure is in place, then the innovators can start their game, and cause development. That is what Madanda missed. He seemed to think the current big players, the ones bringing artistes, are the ones to drive the field. He neglects to think of what is to come, you see. I disagreed with his piece.

Madanda said "A buyer of one litre of paraffin or a fraction of it– “kakendo” as it is called in my birth village is unlikely to buy it over the Internet than a Shell or Total fuel dealer."
Well, Americans don't buy fuel online, either. That is a wrong metric. If he starts thinking of, say, whole weddings furnished over the internet (choose clothes, choose motorcade, choose this and that, over the Net, and we'll bring it), now he's on the right track.
The poorer us, the ones he refers to, never cause these kinds of revolutions. It's usually the richer others. (I'm broke.)

Oh, and Space, the cat, had four kittens. :o) Four whole little beasts! And they are cute.

Salam Taki said...

Comrade, thanks for the correction. Space had four and not three kittens as I alleged. Cute kittens you say. Are you going to sell them to raise some dime, or will you write a will for your emerging host of cats?

I see governments playing the policing, regulation, and laying grander strategies to create ICT infrastructures and industry. With ICT4D, it is like well let the poor become consumers and buyers of systems and not even use it to develop themselves.

Give them laptops to babies, build ICT hubs in kraals and yes, write a report back to the world's bank say oh yes, ICT has infiltrated them villages. Crap.

And oh, I have reedited and also personalised the post since your comment. Nothing really changed only for an added paragraph as in the 4th paragraph.