Grassroots community participation as a key to e-governance sustainability in Africa: Section I: Themes and approaches to inform e-strategies
This article explores the theoretical sustainability of e-governance in Africa by assessing the nature of participation of stakeholders. It adopts an explanatory critique, drawing on perspectives debated in scholarly literature and based on reviews of country approaches. The exploration takes into account historical antecedents to participation in e-governance in Africa, revealing that dominant stakeholder interests effectively lock out the majority of citizens from active participation in e-governance, except as consumers of public services delivered through e-government. It considers the nature of attachment of stakeholders to e-governance projects. Global stakeholders increasingly have a low degree of attachment, while there is a relatively high degree of enrolment of local actors. The concept of e-governance remains solid, but is dispensable, since although government agencies have "embraced" the message of e-government, certain local actors are weakly mobilised. The policy process has failed to nurture the heterogeneity of actors, specifically grassroots actors, that is required for effective e-governance.