Technology and the Nature of Active Citizenship: The Case of Botswana
The use of technology in citizen participation has grown phenomenally in developed countries, but is emergent in most developing countries. Accessibility and the functionality of information and communication technologies such as telephone, cellular phone and internet have profound effect on citizen participation in politics, policy making and implementation. This study applies a case study methodology to understand the relationship between technology and the nature of active citizen participation in developing countries, using Botswana as a case example. The penetration and use of the information and communication technologies in politics and the policy-making process in Botswana remains low. Botswana first laid in place the policy, legal and institutional frameworks to guide its development of ICTs in her governance system. The country has since made significant gains on providing ICT infrastructure countrywide, and reducing the costs associated with accessing these where available. The country has registered improvements on all indicators on Technological readiness, further strengthening the country’s path on the adoption ICTs in its governance process. The findings suggest that countries should take the responsibility for, and be committed to, creating a conducive environment for the ICT industry to thrive while not losing focus of the ultimate objective of citizen participation.