Evaluation of ICT development and economic growth in Africa
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This paper evaluates the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on economic growth in Africa based on a sample of 54 countries from 2005 to 2015. The sample is further divided along five sub-regions and the outcomes measured by estimating pooled ordinary least squares, random and fixed effects and system generalised method of moments models. The ICT indicators are individuals using the internet, mobile subscribers and fixed telephone subscribers with trade openness and inflation rate as control variables. Findings, among others, reveal that (1) ICT development has a statistically significant positive relationship with economic growth, (2) the output elasticities of the three ICT indicators are significantly different, (3) the “leapfrogging” hypothesis holds, (4) mobile subscription has the largest output elasticity across all specifications and has the biggest potentials to enable Africa to skip traditional developmental stages, (5) regressions for the sub-samples show statistically significant differences of the output elasticity of ICT indicators. The study recommends that concerted efforts must be directed towards harnessing the inherent benefits of ICT usage which includes reducing the rising cost attributable to the usage of communication technology facilities such as the cost of buying a cellular phone, internet connectivity rates, subscription rates and so on.
KeywordsICT Economic growth Leapfrogging Africa Pooled OLS Static models GMM
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