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The Role of Institutions and ICTEntrepreneurship in Developing Countries: - The case of Cameroon
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The increasing body of literature in the field of development theory holds that information and

communications technologies (ICTs) are essential for improving the living conditions in

developing countries. Since this view is shared by many governments and international

organizations it is also a foundation for policy making. In this thesis I examine the role of ICTbased

entrepreneurship in Cameroon and how such entrepreneurs can improve the economic

conditions in the developing world. Using a qualitative approach I do a case study by mapping

small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cameroon's ICT industry and identify the key

drivers and barriers for the entrepreneurial process of ICT development.

The data is mainly collected from field work in Cameroon during two months in 2010. The

method is influenced by ethnography and apart from observations, includes semi structured

interviews with 14 contributors and a survey of 20 Internet cafés. The empirical material

analyzed in a development context based on a research model using theories of ICT

development, institutional economics and entrepreneurship.

Weak institutions are often theorized to be the main reasons why sub-Saharan Africa is behind in

the economic progress and the study gives many examples of how ICT-based entrepreneurship

can overcome weak institutions in Cameroon. Conversely, it also demonstrates that ICT-based

entrepreneurship can create lock-ins and reinforce bad structures.

In the context of this study the entrepreneurial process was found to be characterized by a strong

commitment to the community, social groups and family. The most common perceived barriers

among the entrepreneurs are governmental centralization, bureaucracy and corruption. The

difficulty in getting funding is also a common obstacle.

The study further shows that ICT entrepreneurs have an important role for increasing the level of

ICT awareness. Internet cafés have many important functions in the society and serve many

other purposes than just providing Internet. Private education centers are common and very

important since they can make up for the malfunctions of the national education system.

However, many education centers might have a wrong focus and could be made more efficient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete INDEK, 2011:16
Keyword [en]
ICT development, institutional economics, entrepreneurship, Cameroon
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33655OAI: diva2:416886
Available from: 2011-05-13 Created: 2011-05-13 Last updated: 2011-05-13Bibliographically approved

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