Exploratory factors of consumer uses of mobile information and communications technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Using theories of technology acceptance and technology transfer, we identified factors affecting the use of mobile information and communication technology (mobile ICT) in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), specifically sub-Saharan Africa. From a literature review, we developed a research model to describe factors that impact mobile ICT use and formulated a series of hypotheses about them. We then surveyed mobile ICT users in Kenya and Nigeria and created a structural model to examine our hypothesized relationships. Our findings indicate that access to mobile ICT, and cultural influences on mobile ICT diffusion, strongly influence individuals’ perceptions of the usefulness and ease of use of mobile ICT. Individuals’ perceptions about the reliability of mobile ICT influence use of these technologies significantly. The results suggest that, although extensive ICT diffusion (high mobile ICT levels per capita) may be necessary for seeding commercial and economic initiatives that depend heavily on mobile ICT, such as m-commerce, it may not be sufficient. Firms conducting business in sub-Saharan Africa need to pay attention to the factors that explain individual mobile ICT use because these factors will most likely determine the optimal market segmentation, business development, and customer service strategies for leveraging m-commerce operations in that region. For government units, the understanding of such factors would also be beneficial in aiding economic planning and commerce.

Meso, P., Mbarika, V., & Musa, P. (2005). An empirical investigation of exploratory factors of consumer uses of mobile information and communications technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa: precursors to M-Commerce. Information Systems Journal (ISJ), 15, 119–146.

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