How Oke-Ogun Crosses the Digital Divide: Study of a Nigerian Rural Development Project


  • Pamela McLean Committee for African Welfare and Development (CAWD)
  • Susan Johnson University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, HI


The dominant paradigm of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as an enabling force for socioeconomic progress informs most worldwide development projects and frames much of the literature that surrounds them. What is often missing in these accounts is the human factor; the people that make the technology work. This account of the history of the Oke-Ogun Community Development Network in rural Nigeria demonstrates how ICTs do not just "come" to a rural population, but are introduced and, with a great deal of work, are adapted in specific situations. The barriers and the work-arounds that are adopted to overcome infrastructural and cultural barriers to ICT and digital information use are recounted, and the full articulation of just what it takes to get - and keep - information flowing is revealed.