16th January 2018
By Tom Law

Digitalisation in Africa: Technology, Development, and Justice

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Technology, Development, and Justice

University of Tübingen, Germany

September 26 and 27, 2018

Website: www.da-ethics2018.de

Call for papers:

Corporate actors, civil society and government stakeholders are increasingly implementing information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Global South. Especially sub-Saharan Africa has become the 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.

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.

At the conference, we wish to address the above and related questions. The conference should foster an interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange between scholars and practitioners from all continents. We particularly welcome contributions from the sub-Saharan region.

Besides paper presentations, we welcome videos, photographs, or interactive workshops (please indicate in your abstract if you would like to make such a contribution).

Contributions may include theoretical, empirical as well as practical analyses, policy development, best-practice examples and similar works that will enrich the debate. Please submit an abstract of no more than 1,500 words of your suggested contribution to [email protected].

Contributions should be original and thought-provoking, papers should have intelligible arguments and a clear methodology. All contributions should be geared towards advancing research on the ethical implications of digitalisation in and ICT export to the Global South.

After the conference, selected contributions shall be published in a journal or edited conference volume.

The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2018.

Applicants will be notified regarding their submissions by 15 May 2018. The conference language is English. For more information on submission guidelines, possible research questions, and the background of the conference, please visit www.da-ethics2018.de.

Please also follow @EthicsICTAfrica on Twitter for updates on the conference.

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Laura Schelenz at [email protected].