DIASPORA AND DEVELOPMENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: THE CASE FOR VIRTUAL COMMUNITY IN GHANA
North Carolina A&T State University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Sub-Saharan Africa faces formidable challenges in stimulating economic growth to alleviate poverty, human misery, and prevent a total social collapse. These deplorable conditions are pressing countries in the sub-region to seek innovative strategies that will help to effectively address these complex issues. An innovative development paradigm countries could explore to enhance economic development deals with tapping into the skills of their Diaspora populations via a virtual community platform. This paper proposes a conceptual framework of virtual community comprising of the Diaspora, government, universities and other stakeholders in Ghana working collaboratively to generate innovative ideas and practical and workable solutions to address the myriad of the country’s seemingly intractable problems. The paper will be divided into three sections. The first section reviews the literature on lCT with a particular focus on typologies of virtual communities and e-learning and the theoretical framework underlying the concept of virtual community. The next section looks at reasons why each entity would want to be part of the Ghana Virtual Community; specifically, the relative advantages each entity brings to as well as the benefits derived from membership of the community. Additionally, the section examines the process for creating the virtual community and the different roles to be played by entities that will constitute the virtual community. The third and final section identifies barriers to establishing and sustaining this virtual community strategy and provides some suggestions for addressing these challenges.
Keywords: Economic development, diaspora, Sub-Saharan Africa, virtual community, collaboration.