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Knowledge creation and dissemination in sub‐Saharan Africa

Louisa Ha (Department of Telecommunications, School of Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)
Raphael Nnajiofor Okigbo (Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria)
Primus Igboaka (School of Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 4 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this experimental study is to examine the effects of using broadband internet technology for creating and disseminating agricultural knowledge in Nigeria. A free broadband service Knowledge Center was established in the village of Ihiala with volunteer college students aiding the farmers in using the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

Pre‐ and post‐test interviews of a panel of female farmers were conducted before and after the establishment of a free broadband internet access service center and experimental web site. A survey of another 97 farmers in the village was conducted to examine awareness and perception of the Knowledge Center.

Findings

The data from the interviews show that farmers who visited the experimental web site evaluated the site positively as giving them relevant knowledge. Most importantly, the broadband service facility was unanimously rated by the users as a great place for socializing with and learning from other fellow farmers. They all encouraged their friends and relatives to use the center and said they would miss the center if it was discontinued.

Research limitation/implications

The limited funding can only examine the short‐term impact of the technology on the farmers. The demonstration of broadband internet's potential as an infrastructure in facilitating the creation and dissemination of knowledge among Nigerian farmers through this experiment can be deemed successful.

Practical implications

Customized information and socialization functions in a knowledge creation program are important to win the support of farmers.

Originality/value

This study is the first empirical study to examine the effects of technology on knowledge creation and dissemination based on a collaborative knowledge creation model.

Keywords

Citation

Ha, L., Nnajiofor Okigbo, R. and Igboaka, P. (2008), "Knowledge creation and dissemination in sub‐Saharan Africa", Management Decision, Vol. 46 No. 3, pp. 392-405. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740810863852

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited