Panel 36

The Interplay between Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) and Mobilities practices in Africa

Panel organisers: Nima Shidende, School of Informatics, University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
Faraja Igira, Faculty of Mathematics and Computing, Institute of Finance Management, Tanzania.
Hector Mongi, School of Informatics, University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
Christina Mortberg, Linnaeus University, Vaxjo, Sweden.


Multiplicities of mobilities are very common in the African continent and manifests through rural-urban migration, labor, south to north migration, and refugees’ movements across African countries. It also manifests through small scale mobilities which do occur within the individual countries such as, children migrating from home to street (street children), beggars moving around residential areas or town centers, movements of HIV positive clients’ between healthcare units to avoid social stigma attached to HIV, movement of healthcare clients between healthcare units in search of better maternal and child healthcare services, and mobility of disabled citizens in urban/rural in search of better path. Mobility has some aspects of empowerment in the perspective of the individuals practicing it since they view those physical movements as a means of accessing better opportunities such as jobs, safety, privacy and social services.

There are insights in the Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) literature on how Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) affect the opportunity for migration and how they affect its outcomes. For example, the use of mobile phones, internet, and social media has proved to simply communication and interactions of migrants with their family/friends residing in their home countries. However, previous literature provides more understanding of how ICT shape mobility and less on how mobility shapes ICT design and adoption.

This panel aims to advance our theoretical, methodological and empirical understanding on the interplay of ICT4D and mobilities practices. Specifically the focus is on how mobilities practices are impacting design, adoption, implementation and use of ICT tools. Key focal areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Case studies depicting design and implementation Information and Communication Technologies to support mobilities.
  • Theoretical or methodological approaches for understanding the influence of mobilities on design, adoption and usage of ICT.
  • Impact of different multiplicities of mobilities in shaping information management practices/knowledge exchange practices in different organizations.
  • ​Information technologies design approaches that take mobilities practices into account.
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