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Chitu Okoli

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 in Research publications

E-business in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

Report on survey of expert assessments of e-business in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa


Chitu Okoli, Ph.D., Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Scott McCoy, Ph.D., The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, USA
Victor W. A. Mbarika, Ph.D., Southern University, Baton Rouge, USA

© 2005 Chitu Okoli


From 2003 to 2005, our research team on e-business in developing countries investigated experts’ perceptions on the most pertinent issues affecting the success of electronic business in Latin America (LA) and in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Mr. Hamadoun Touré, the Director of the International Telecommunication Union’s Bureau of Development, has affirmed that this study could contribute towards achieving one of ITU-D’s goals of harnessing the potentials of ICTs for socioeconomic development of developing countries. We hope that business managers, policy makers, and government and NGO officials can use the results of this study in furthering the development of e-business in developing countries.

Chitu Okoli, now at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada, conducted the Sub-Saharan Africa phase of the study (summer 2003) for his doctoral dissertation at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, which he successfully defended on October 13, 2003. Dr. Victor Mbarika chaired the dissertation. Together with Dr. Scott McCoy, we subsequently collected data for Latin America. This document reports the results of the survey, but it does not discuss them. The dissertation reports the SSA phase of the study from a scholarly perspective in far more detail, giving both methodological details of the study (chapters 3 and 4) and discussing in-depth the theoretical meaning and implications of the results (chapters 2 and 5).

Before conducting the actual survey, we conducted a pilot (test) survey to refine our questionnaire and administration procedure. We sent the survey to a selection of experts in Sub-Saharan Africa in April and May 2003 for the pilot survey, and obtained 48 completed responses. Based on these responses, we modified the survey to be more valid and reflective of what we are actually trying to discover. We do not report any results from the pilot test here, but they are available in the full dissertation report.

We conducted the main study, which we report here, in two phases. In the Sub-Saharan Africa phase, we sent the questionnaire by e-mail to over a thousand expert contacts from May to July 2003, and we also sent follow-ups by postal mail to those whom we had not heard from. By the conclusion of the first phase in August 2003, we eventually received 158 responses; however, only 138 were sufficiently complete for us to use for our analysis here. In the Latin America phase, we e-mailed the questionnaire to contacts from the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas, Camara-e (the Brazilian Chamber of E-commerce), and Connect-World. Altogether, we received 201 responses, but only 181 were usable (of which 98 were from Brazil).

The report that follows is a detailed summary of the results. This report is available in the following languages:

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