CONFERENCE – Digitalisation in Africa: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Technology, Development, and Justice

26 and 27 September 2018, Tübingen, Germany

Organized by the International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities, University of Tübingen

 

Corporate actors, civil society and government stakeholders are increasingly implementing information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Global South, purportedly to improve the quality of life and well-being of individuals in less connected regions. Sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as such an “under-connected” world region and has become a major focus of technology-based development initiatives. Examples range from free access to specific content on the internet (“zero-rating”) to e-health, e-education, e-government and e-agriculture programmes, as well as mobile banking applications and ICT infrastructure such as drones or white space technology.

With growing activity in the fields of digitalisation and ICT for development (ICT4D) in Africa, critical questions have to be raised: What are the motivations behind ICT export and digitalisation programmes? How are technologies used, who is excluded from ICT use and why? Bearing in mind that technologies are not neutral but have certain values inscribed in them, how are digital technologies designed, and what impact does this have on individual opportunities for action as well as societal futures? In which ways do ICT change (moral) norms of action, cultural traditions and the distribution of power? Does the export of ICT by Western companies and development programmes have "neo-colonial" effects? Other relevant topics concern local content, gender dynamics, and the values of privacy and access to information.

We expect between 40 and 60 participants. The conference language is English. If you wish to participate, please register as early as possible. Visit "Registration" and follow the instructions.

There will also be a designated networking session on the second day of the conference, which will offer a platform for practitioners from business, governmental and non-governmental organisations to network and to gain insights into the newest research in the area of ICT for development. We believe this will be an interesting opportunity for your association to briefly present its work and to establish contacts. Participation in the networking session will prospectively entail giving a very short presentation (2-5 minutes) on your organisation and then informally connecting with other conference participants. There will also be the opportunity to share materials such as brochures. If you are interested in actively participating in the networking session and presenting your work, please send me an e-mail by 31 July 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Laura Schelenz at da-ethics2018@izew.uni-tuebingen.de.

 

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