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Information Communications Technology and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Panel Data Approach


This research empirically analyzed the impact of mobile phone and the Internet on per capita income of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for the period of 2006-2015 using a panel data of 40 countries. We have employed the robust two-step system GMM. Results showed that growth in mobile phone penetration has contributed significantly to the GDP per capita of the region after controlling for a number of other variables. A 10% increase in mobile phone penetration results in a 1.2% change in GDP per capita. Therefore, improving access to mobile phones plays a positive role in reducing the poverty level of the region through raising the per capita income of the population. However, the Internet has not contributed to the per capita GDP during the study period. The insignificant impact of the Internet could be due to low penetration of the technology, low ICT skill of Internet users, lack of or insufficient local content on the global network, the relatively immature state of the technology in the region, and a possible misuse of it. Therefore, governments and other stakeholders should design policies that encourage expansion of the Internet until a critical mass of users is achieved. In addition to improving Internet access, policies which focus on ICT skill development and local content creation should also be designed and implemented.

Corporate Author: 
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 

Mobile; Internet; 

Secondary Descriptor: 

GDP per capita; system GMM

Geographic Descriptors: 
Sub-Saharan Africa
Cataloge Date: 
Broad Subject heading: 
Information Technology
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2018
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Publication date: 
2018-06-01 00:00:00
Conference Place: 
EEA Multi-purpose Building Conference Hall, Addis Ababa
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa
Type of material: 
Current frequency: 
Thematic area: 
Microeconomics, Industry and Social Sector Related
Conference date: 
July 20 – 22, 2017