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The use of Information and Communication Technologies for Promoting and Sustaining National Integration in Africa

Cecil, Blake and Fayomi, Oluyemi Oyenike and Ayo, C. K. (2015) The use of Information and Communication Technologies for Promoting and Sustaining National Integration in Africa. In: The 15th European Conference on eGovernment (ECEG 2015), 18 - 19 June, 2015, University of Portsmouth UK.

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The major argument advanced in this paper is that African governments should make use of information and communication technologies within their governing structures in seeking ways and means of promoting national social cohesion. We present a heuristic by developing a model – e-Cultural Synchronization -- for national integration in African nations, with a central focus on the synchronization of indigenous cultures as fulcrum. The rationale is grounded in the need for African states to pay more attention to the cultural fabric of their respective societies in efforts to reduce cultural tensions by demonstrating that there are indeed many aspects of African culture that are not antithetical, for instance, to democratic governance or other governing prescriptions that have been tried by some African leaders. The model utilizes the application of information and communication technologies as means of achieving cultural synchronization for stable governance. National integration continues to be a major challenge for several African states. Internecine warfare, pervasive poverty, weak infrastructure in several sectors poses problems for smooth governance. Conflicts at the level witnessed during elections in Kenya and the Ivory Coast have resulted in charges of crimes against humanity (approximating ethnic cleansing) by African heads of State. A former head of state of Ivory Coast – President Laurent Gbagbo, is presently facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands. Even though the majority of African states achieved independence since the late 1950s and during the 1960s there are still problems in fashioning and sustaining nationally integrated nation states resulting in conflicts. Countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa pose different problems for national integration after independence. Their problems centre mainly on race and economics. Insurgencies are taking place in countries such as the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mali, Uganda, Zaire, Somalia and Rwanda to name a few. The emergence of major non-state actors such Al Shabab, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda in the Maghreb continue to challenge the “State.” The major sources for the preceding are religion and politics. Among other sources of conflict exacerbating the challenges for national integration are disputes over natural resources, socio-economic disparities and ethnicity. Several attempts made at national integration have centered on ideological choices, with a focus on democratic governance, with very little emphasis on indigenous cultural synchronization as a means of promoting national cohesion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: e-cultural synchronization, national integration, ICT, conflict resolution, cultural synchronization
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Electronics and Computer Science
Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mrs Patricia Nwokealisi
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2019 11:38
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 11:38

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