This essay argues that the purely economic analyses of ICT sector reform that dominate the literature on Africa fail to explain why, in the face of global evidence of the success of the reform paradigm of regulated competition—which has successfully driven increased penetration of information and communication technologies at lower and lower prices across the world—in Africa, communications sector reform has been so uneven and often resisted. Political economy approaches that highlight the political context in which economic reforms take place seem to have greater explanatory value. Rather than focusing on market reforms only, analyses of the interaction of state and market, and the interplay between various sector institutions may better explain how reform is faciliated or constrained.
Gillwald, A. The Poverty of ICT Policy, Research, and Practice in Africa. Information Technologies and International Development (2010) 6 (Special Edition) 79-88.