OJEBISI, A. OLUGBENGA
Department Of Curriculum and Instruction Studies,
Federal College of Education (Sp.), Oyo.
An Appraisal of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Resources for Sustainable Poverty Eradication and Development in Nigeria Abstract
This paper presents an appraisal of the use of information and communication technology (ICT) resources as veritable tools that fit into the globalization project for sustainable poverty alleviation and development in the world generally and Nigeria in particular. Poverty amid plenty is the greatest challenge facing most African countries, Nigeria inclusive. Men and women in poverty use diverse coping mechanisms conditioned by their access to various support systems. Governments and people around the world have started appreciating the ability of ICT to stimulate rapid development in all sectors of the economy. ICT is redefining the way we do almost everything and it is a ready tool for all strata of society. They are a “tool for development”, not a “reward for development”. They have the potential to empower billions of people; to enable sustainable development, and enhance human dignity. They can offer new access to education for and by the people even in the most remote regions; bring improved health care; help eradicate poverty, empower men and women, and build sustainable communities. They can enable self-expression, new knowledge creation and cultural diversity, and continued and sustainable economic growth. They must be harnessed to the goal of globally sustainable development. This paper makes an overall presentation of the role that ICTs resources is playing in poverty eradication and in promoting sustainable development, and discuss other strategies the government and other stakeholders can adopt to make it more effective.
ICTs, Poverty and Poverty Eradication, and Sustainable Development
Over the years the role of ICTs, both established (radio, television, video, compact disc) and emerging (wireless, Internet, broadband), as a powerful if not indispensable tool in the massive scaling up and inter-linkage of development interventions and outcomes inherent in this objective has become recognized. ICTs offer enormous opportunities to narrow social and economic inequalities and support sustainable local wealth creation by overcoming obstacles of geographic isolation, lack of access to information and challenges in communication. Recent developments in technologies, reduction in prices, greater availability of networks and a more user friendly approach to technologies have strengthened these roles. The potential of information as a strategic development resource should be incorporated as a routine element into the development planning process and for poverty eradication. But many people in developing countries like Nigeria especially the poor in rural areas who are still struggling to address their basic human needs, the endemic problem of poverty, illiteracy etc believe that ICTs are making no difference to their lives. Supported by this finding is the World Bank Report (2005) that states that unlike in other services, ICTs are also failing poor people in many ways. In the light of this, it is imperative that we address the following questions: How and in what ways can ICTs help poor people and those who are socially excluded? How can ICT-based development strategies and policies be made more accountable to the special needs of the disempowered? What are the connections between ICT and the government anti- poverty measures? What are the areas that are likely to create opportunities for the use of ICTs where they have the maximum potentials to benefit the poor? These questions and some others serve as an impetus for this paper....