Rohan Samarajiva will present the next SA Connect Public Seminar Series, entitled, ‘The path to the information society: Does it lie through the mobile? Evidence from Asia and thoughts for Africa’, on the 14th of April, at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
“A people centered, inclusive, and development-oriented information society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge enabling individuals and communities to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life,” was the common objective agreed upon during the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) process.
This lecture will examine the evidence from representative surveys of teleusers at the Bottom of the Pyramid in six Asian countries, including within them the Indo-Gangetic Plain that is home to the world’s largest concentration of poor people, on whether the path to the information society is likely to be the conventional computer at the end of a broadband connection or a mobile. The possible contributions of the budget telecom network business model, pioneered in South Asia, will be discussed. Evidence on awareness and use of the Internet, awareness, trial and use of more-than-voice services on mobiles, and on trust and related factors likely to affect electronic payments will be presented. Lacunae that must be filled if the bottom of the pyramid is to reach the information society are identified.