Dissertation Information for Alice Sunday Etim
MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected
Title: The adoption and diffusion of information and communication technology in the Base of the Pyramid population of Sub-Saharan Africa: A study of Nigerian university students
Abstract: The global environment is a complex network of people who are grouped using different types of information. In each country, people are grouped based on such information as age, race, ethnicity, educational qualification, income, occupation, and net worth. These socioeconomic descriptions of people have relevance in our current Information Age. This dissertation addresses a socioeconomic group, the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) population of Sub-Saharan Africa and investigates a sub-set of that population, the university students in Nigeria on their adoption of modern information and communication technology (ICT). The ICT tools and services that were looked at in this study were computers, Internet and mobile phones. Prior to conducting the study, theories and models of human needs, poverty, information seeking behavior, technology acceptance and diffusion as well as the literature on these topics was analyzed. Six research questions were asked and used to explore issues of ICT access, affordability, acceptance and adoption. The survey method was used to collect data from a self-selected sample of 300 students at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Two focus group interviews were used to further examine the results of the survey. The data were analyzed and reported. The findings were that students accepted ICT and despite their extreme economic poverty, basic Nokia mobile phones diffused successfully. However, computer technology, the Internet and smart mobile phones did not diffuse because the students could not afford expensive forms of ICT tools and services. The cost of computers was a significant factor that limited its adoption. A large proportion (79 percent) of study participants who could not afford to own computers accessed them at fee paid Internet cafés. The students used their basic mobile phones mostly for voice communication in part because advanced tasks like e-learning or Internet access were not supported by these basic phones. They desired their mobile phones to provide better support for their information seeking behavior. They desired additional features to their basic mobile phones--Internet access, music, longer battery life, location/logistics intelligence, support for their educational/field research and television. It was also established that factors in the mobile phone technology adoption model (MOPTAM)--personal factors (including technology advancement and technology orientation), perceived ease of use and facilitating conditions such as cost and quality of service influenced attitude towards the use of mobile phones. Overall, the students perceived mobile technology as an innovation that they could no longer live without and that it had the potential to help improve their lives.
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