The study primarily described and analysed the attempts made through the former Technikon SA at the implementation of ICT centres in Southern Africa over a period of six years. Based on some contemporary theory, the study suggested an approach for the implementation of ICT centres in developing regions. In the introduction, the study deals with the problems of technology transfer to developing regions and refers to the impact of globalisation on third world economies. In particular, the study highlights the barriers to technology transfer with specific emphasis on the peculiarities that are unique to each region. The study further analysed the approach that was used by the former Technikon SA for the deployment of ICT centres especially as ICT centres were considered by many as an ideal manner for the transfer of technology. In order to contextualise the understand and findings of the research, the study relied on the fact that the research was based on a longitudinal study. The advantages of this longitudinal study meant it was possible to observe and record the life of an ICT centre over a significant period of time. Not only was it evident that there was little regard for the respective communities needs and the that there was no indication of these ICT centres being successful, but that the same mistakes were being repeated. At national level, an enormous amount of effort and money had been channelled into the roll out of ICT centres with little guarantee of success. International symposiums suggested that through technology, third world economies could make the quantum leap into the information age and that the deployment of ICT centres was one of the ways in which this could be achieved at the local level. There was little evidence to suggest that any significant success had been achieved through the many attempts at ICT centre deployment. Through the study, a research instrument was developed that was used to assess and measure the success of each of the centres. The approach for ICT deployment suggested in the study, was based on the research instrument as well as on models developed by certain theorists (Heeks, Van Ardenhoven and Snyman). The study in the end analysed the nature and impact of implementing ICT centres without considering the critical elements that were identified as critical success factors for ICT centre success. Critical success factors that include role players from government to the community, local, ownership, identification of local needs, local knowledge, an understanding of the local conditions, support structures and partnerships were shown to be key to the success of and ensuring sustainability of ICT centres. The study also provides a perspective on the conflict that arose between the implementer of ICT centres and the communities.
Thesis (PhD (Information Science))--University of Pretoria, 2009.