Internet and Sub Saharan African Academics With Particular Reference to Makerere University Kampala

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Addis Ababa University


The objective of this study was to examine the way Sub Saharan African Academics make use of the Internet as a means of solving professional problems, to identify the problems they encounter, and to propose guidelines that may be adopted with modifications where necessary to improve the use of the Internet by Academics in Sub Saharan Africa. The term "Academics" was used to refer to the teaching staff in Sub Saharan African universities. A questionnaire survey, supplemented by interviews, was conducted. The survey covered Academics at Makerere University main campus. Effort was made to browse the World Wide Web in order to identify the Sub Saharan African universities having Web Pages and the kind of information there is . Results indicated that most of the Academics were not using the Internet. Reasons given for not using the Internet included: lack of awareness , lack of access and very high cost. Academics using the Internet use it mainly for research purposes and personal communication and a big number of these users (45 %) get 50% to 74% level of satisfaction from the services they use. Information about research in Sub Saharan African universities, which was given first priority by respondents to the questionnaire, was found to be missing on all the Sub Saharan African university Web Pages that were browsed. The findings of this study called for the need to co-ordinate Internet services in Sub Saharan African universities , infrastructure development, creation of awareness, encouraging use among female Academics and Professors, user training, repatriation of useful information, reduction in the cost of Internet services to the Academics and involving Academics in content generation for the World Wide Web.



Information Science