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Comments on the Digitalization and Digital Divide in the Horn of Africa (HoA), Kenya and Ethiopia: The Media Perspective

Abstract

The aim of this research is to present a broader discursive overview of the state of digitalization and digital divide in some of the Horn of African (HoA) countries with a particular focus on Kenya and Ethiopia, from the media perspective. The research attempted to find out the state or trend of digitalization/media in Africa, and point out examples of digital divide from the perspective of the media. To achieve this, a secondary material review and key informant interviews were conducted with key informants  within the digital media ecosystem, including trainers, researchers, journalists, developers and academics from Africa and Europe. These key informant interviews were particularly needed to broach the personal experiences and expertises of the informants. The preliminary findings show that the level of digitalization/media development in the region has made commendable progress in a few countries but is largely at a low level of development, with the Kenyan experience faring better than the Ethiopian. There are many opportunities for and divides between digitalization and digital media development in HoA but given the current state of politico-economic governance in the region, the digital dividerelated challenges look larger than the opportunities. This study offers suggestions on how digitalization and digital divide could be better approached.

Tedla Desta

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