This commentary is part of the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), a programme of bridges.org. This is one of a series intended to spark thinking and dialogue on important issues in the field. These short informative pieces give an overview of an international ICT policy issue relevant to African stakeholders, and stir discussion by presenting strong views and provocative questions. Readers are encouraged to respond to the points raised, via email or in the "comments" box under each commentary on the CIPESA website at
This paper uses critical discourse analysis to demonstrate how information and communications technology (ICT) has become deeply involved in the conception and practice of socio-economic development within so-called less-developed countries (LDCs). A recent speech on ICT by the president of the World Bank Group is examined, which shows the role of the discourse surrounding such technologies in replicating and extending a markedly North American worldview into the developmental sphere. The ability of critical discourse analysis to expose the involvement of ICT in normalising a dominant set of political and economic assumptions confirms its usefulness as a tool within which to approach the critical study of information systems.
The idea of multi-stakeholder negotiation and decision making was articulated in the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations system is supposed to be implementing. WSIS however, is the first forum where it is actually being put into practice - and at the WSIS Prepcom taking place in Geneva this week, it can be seen to be working.
Defining technological innovation as a process from the conception of an idea to commercialization of a new product, the article points out that intellectual property plays an important role in the success of this process. It identifies the type of intellectual property that may be used at each stage of the process. In addition, it identifies IP strategies used by enterprises in the commercialization process, citing examples of such use.
The company said it is contributing some 30 projects to SourceForge.net, a repository of open source code and related material. The Somers, N.Y. based software group also said it is expanding its own developerWorks Web site with more resources including training in PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) a popular open-source programming language for creating Web pages. and other popular technologies.