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Digitalisation for whom: the determinants of residents' use of the digital property address system in Accra, Ghana

Louis Kusi Frimpong (Department of Geography and Earth Science, University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Somanya, Ghana)
Stephen Leonard Mensah (Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana)
Seth Asare Okyere (School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA)
Matthew Abunyewah (The Australasian Centre for Resilience Implementation for Sustainable Communities, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia)
Stephen Kofi Diko (Department of City and Regional Planning, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
Seth Barnie Enning (Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana)
Joshua Mawutor Attigah (Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 27 September 2022

94

Abstract

Purpose

There is an emerging digital turn in urban management in Africa, undergirded by efforts to address the challenges of rapid urbanisation. To ensure that this digitalisation agenda contributes to smart and sustainable communities, there is a need to trace residents' use of emerging digital technologies and address any impediments to broader utilisation. To this end, this paper aims to examine the determinants of residents' use of Ghana's digital property address system (DPAS) in suburban communities in Accra.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on a detailed literature review of digital technologies and the factors that affect their use, this paper uses data from a cross-sectional survey of three suburban communities in Accra. A binary logistic regression model was then utilised to identify the significant factors that affect residents' use of the DPAS.

Findings

The findings showed that socioeconomic, housing, and psychosocial factors were the main determinants of residents' use of the DPAS. Specifically, house ownership, education and expected benefits had a positive relationship with residents' use of the DPAS. Findings highlight the need for urban policymakers to pay attention to systemic issues in Ghana's digital culture to ensure that digitalisation initiatives do not widen the digital divide and thus impede progress towards smart and sustainable urban development goals.

Originality/value

The growing scholarship on digitalisation in Africa has emphasised conditions, potentials and challenges in deploying digital technologies with little attention to the determinants of residents' use of these technologies. This paper contributes to filling this knowledge gap by bringing foundational issues critical to engendering equitable digitalisation agenda in Ghanaian cities and beyond.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express appreciation to the Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) who gave the first author an opportunity to present the initial draft of the paper at its writing workshop. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments on the paper during the review process.

Citation

Frimpong, L.K., Mensah, S.L., Okyere, S.A., Abunyewah, M., Diko, S.K., Enning, S.B. and Attigah, J.M. (2022), "Digitalisation for whom: the determinants of residents' use of the digital property address system in Accra, Ghana", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-06-2022-0121

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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