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Enabling M-Government in South Africa: An Emerging Direction for Africa

Enabling M-Government in South Africa: An Emerging Direction for Africa
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Author(s): Blessing M. Maumbe (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa), Vesper Owei (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa) and Wallace Taylor (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 20
Source title: Electronic Government: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko (University of Tampere, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch302

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Abstract

This chapter describes the emergence of m-government in Africa. It examines the introduction of m-government in South Africa. The chapter also provides key examples of similar experiences with m-government in other African countries. The chapter focuses on the emerging patterns of m-government use, and it identi?es key issues for consideration in its deployment in the African context. The chapter argues that m-government potential in South Africa in particular must be explored as a complement to the on-going Gateway Project e-government initiatives. The rapid penetration of mobile phones in South Africa offers clear opportunity to deliver government services via this new channel. Security, lack of content development capacity, expensive modern handsets, and high recharge rates are highlighted as key barriers to m-government deployment to the poor in South Africa. The authors contend that development of an m-government strategy and a coordinated effort in awareness generation and service deployment will help deliver a more viable m-government.

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