ICT for informal workers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Systematic review and analysis
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CitationMramba N. Rumanyika J. Apiola M. Suhonen J. (2017). ICT for informal workers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Systematic review and analysis. IEEE Africon 2017 Proceedings, 486-491. 10.1109/AFRCON.2017.8095530.
In Africa, wide diffusion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones and Internet technology, has opened new opportunities for informal workers. New opportunities include better access to information, improved welfare, reduction of search and transaction costs, and improved competitiveness. Despite these opportunities, there is limited scientific knowledge about the available technologies applied in the informal economic sector in Africa. In this research, we reviewed recent ICT projects and initiatives designed for informal economy in Sub-Saharan Africa through the lens of design philosophies, applied technology, and the services offered. Our findings show low level of ICT uptake by informal workers, scarce use of user-centered design principles, lack of design science research approaches, and uneven distribution of ICT solutions among informal workers. We recommend the software developers to strive towards implementing ICT solutions that are designed based on the real-life challenges faced by informal workers.