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Enhancing ICT for inclusive human development in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Publication date: Available online 8 February 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Simplice A. Asongu, Sara Le Roux

This study assesses if increasing information and communication technology (ICT) enhances inclusive human development in a sample of 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2000–2012. The empirical evidence present in this study, is based on instrumental variable Tobit regressions, in order to account for simultaneity and the limited range in the dependent variable. In the interest of increasing room for policy implications and controlling for the unobserved heterogeneity, the analysis is decomposed into the fundamental characteristics that human development is based on: income levels, legal origins, religious dominations, political stability, landlockedness and resource-wealth. Our findings show that policies designed to boost ICT (mobile phone, internet, telephone) penetration will increase inclusive development in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. The degree of positive responsiveness of inclusive development to ICT varies across fundamental characteristics of human development and ICT dynamics. This study finds evidence of synergy in mobile phone penetration and such synergy is driven by non-oil exporting countries. The study has substantial policy relevance because the adoption and/or penetration rate of ICT can be influenced by policy to achieve inclusive development outcomes. Further policy implications are also discussed.






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