The mobile phone as an argument for good governance in sub-Saharan Africa

Simplice Asongu (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Sara le Roux (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Jacinta C. Nwachukwu (Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Chris Pyke (Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Publication date: 5 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present theoretical and empirical arguments for the role of mobile telephony in promoting good governance in 47 sub-Saharan African countries for the period 2000–2012.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical inquiry uses an endogeneity-robust GMM approach with forward orthogonal deviations to analyze the linkage between mobile phone usage and the variation in three broad governance categories – political, economic and institutional.

Findings

Three key findings are established: first, in terms of individual governance indicators, mobile phones consistently stimulated good governance by the same magnitude, with the exception of the effect on the regulation component of economic governance. Second, when indicators are combined, the effect of mobile phones on general governance is three times higher than that on the institutional governance category. Third, countries with lower levels of governance indicators are catching-up with their counterparts with more advanced dynamics.

Originality/value

The study makes both theoretical and empirical contributions by highlighting the importance of various combinations of governance indicators and their responsiveness to mobile phone usage.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are indebted to the editor and reviewers for their constructive comments.

Citation

Asongu, S., le Roux, S., Nwachukwu, J. and Pyke, C. (2019), "The mobile phone as an argument for good governance in sub-Saharan Africa", Information Technology & People, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 897-920. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2018-0011

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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