Towards a Nomadic E-Government Co-Evolutionary Framework (NECE) for Building Knowledge Infrastructures for African Countries
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Purpose - E-Government, introduced in African countries under the banner of New Public Management (NPM), is envisaged to fundamentally aid in improving governance in developing countries. The imported model of EGovernment is therefore transferred to African countries as a panacea to bad governance by carriers such as international donor agencies, consultants, Information Technology vendors and Western-trained civil servants. Improved governance is expected to impact on the socio-economic development of these countries implementing E-Government, as an NPM instrument. This article recognizes that E-Government success, which is critically dependent on the World Wide Web, requires success frameworks that are context-dependent. This paper presents a framework for building E-Government infrastructures (NECE) in transition economies such as those in Africa. The above framework is based on a number different literatures sources and frameworks. It synthesizes literature sources on frameworks of nomadic information environments and those with a specific focus on E-Government as an E-Transformation response to the digital divide. The framework recognizes that the key technological drivers that underlie the development of computing technology are mobility, digital convergence, and mass scale. Dubbed the NECE (Nomadic E-Government Co-Evolutionary) framework, the critical dimensions focus attention on the macro level of building of Flexible Infrastructures; the meso level building of Nomadic Networks and the micro level building of Confident Communities. The critical linkages at the various levels focus on having in place the social, human resources, digital and physical resources that are necessary for addressing social exclusion of E-Government in developing countries. The new conceptualization of e-government presented in the NECE framework can be seen to have some practical implications. The NECE framework lays emphasis on the building an e-government infrastructure which is linked to the presence of various resources, which on the surface do not appear remotely connected to e-government. The conceptualization advocated for in the NECE framework recognizes that e-government is not only a technology solution, but also a social system that elevates the need for empowered individuals, communities and whole societies through the building of social, human, digital and physical resources. Thus the adoption of e-government should pay attention to the ‘localities’ within which the artifact is finding expression and that it is difficult to achieve successful implementation as long as it remains foreign and a myth.