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The adoption of modern information and communication technologies has been predicted to have a dramatic impact on cultures and civil societies, especially in those developing countries that have been 'isolated' from the information society. Theories and predictions on the impact of technologies are widely available in both popular and academic writing. To date, much new technology, in particular the Internet, has tended to prove unsustainable. However, reports on the cell phone's influence have remained positive. In order to investigate the cell phone's influence on non-Western cultures, over 1000 semi-qualitative questionnaires were collected and analysed alongside the details of ICT polices in The Gambia. In this paper, we discuss with empirical backing why the cell phone is an appropriate (information) technology for developing countries, and why IT continues to generate positive impact. © 2010 The Author(s).

Original publication




Journal article


Information Development

Publication Date





148 - 159