Prospects for the Provision of Internet Services to Marginalized Communities in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


This study investigated whether ICTs can be layered on the existing economic, political, social and cultural setting of marginalized communities so as to bling a change to their living standards. This was in light of varying opinions on the application of ICTs to improve the social and economic conditions of communities. A literature review on this issue was conducted and the various arguments were discussed. Strategies for applying ICTs for benefits of communities were also identified from the literature. In light of the findings from the literature, the study attempted to investigate the possibility of providing ICT- based services in general and the Internet in particular to marginalized communities in Addis Ababa. The community with the lowest annual average expenditure in the city was selected for the study. A survey was conducted on selected households in this community with the aim of identifying the major activities of the community members. These included identifying problems to be solved in carrying out the activities in which they we reengaged, the type of information they used in the problem solving process, the technology employed to carry out tasks and the location of the technology. The questions focused on information needs and use related to health, market, income generation, education and communication Once the survey was completed, a field study of a telecaster in the country - the Wolisso Multipurpose Community Teleconference was conducted. This helped to identify the operational issues associated in applying ICTs for use by communities. Data obtained from the survey and the field study was analyzed. Findings of the study show that it is possible to build a community center that satisfies their needs because members of the community are already sharingle T resources. Existing pattern in the use of information and communication media indicates thi s. The main challenge is in drawing an information profile of a given community in order to layer technology on it. This study draws an information need profile for a marginalized community in Addis Ababa.



Information Science