Quest for economic empowerment of rural women entrepreneurs in Tanzania: ICTs leapfrog the digital divide

Ladislaus Semali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


"The digital divide is really diminishing, and it's the mobile phones doing it, not the PC" Len Waverman, London Business School, 2010, p. 3 Microbusiness decisions of marketing food crops depend on critical information in a rapidly changing supply chain environment. Because rural women deal with mostly perishable goods, the uses of cell phones have emerged as important communication tools in the supply chain particularly in decision-making and managing risk-taking. A variety of anecdotal evidence suggests that cell phones have leapfrogged the technology and seem to overcome transport deficits that were for centuries endemic to rural and remote areas which have been poor and underdeveloped. As with any new technology, cell phones provide opportunities as well as challenges. However, little is known about Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the role Cell-phone Mediated Communication (CMC) play in the context of high demand of information that is critical to small-scale marketing of perishable goods. Consequently, what happens in this precarious business environment when women are confronted with risk-taking and decision-making? Do they use CMC to augment stakes or expedite the enterprise? This case describes field research investigations that were conducted in Tanzania from June 2008 to June 2009 to examine access to, and use of cell phones by women residing in rural villages and in a nearby urban center. Rural villages were considered critical in this study as key players in the wellbeing of traditional rural families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCases on Developing Countries and ICT Integration
Subtitle of host publicationRural Community Development
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781609601171
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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