Pages Menu
Chitu Okoli

Internet in developing countries

In 2001, with the arrival at Louisiana State University of Dr. Victor Mbarika, a renowned researcher on information systems in developing countries, my major interest shifted to how to apply the Internet in developing countries. This eventually became the subject of my dissertation, which I completed in 2003, Expert assessments of e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa: A theoretical model of infrastructure and culture for doing business using the Internet. My primary focuses in this area have been on e-business and telemedicine. This became my major focus, and I eventually ceased to conduct new research in my previous stream of competitive strategy. Since 2004, however, my primary focus has shifted to open content and open source software, though I still do conduct research on applications of the Internet in developing countries.



Okoli, Chitu, Victor A. W Mbarika, and Scott McCoy. 2010. The effects of infrastructure and policy on e-business in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. European Journal of Information Systems Forthcoming.

This study investigates experts’ assessments of the pertinent factors affecting e-business in developing countries from a theory-based national infrastructure perspective. We surveyed experts (business people, academicians, and officials of governmental and non-governmental organizations) in e-business in Latin America (LA) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Our partial least squares analysis shows that experts believed that policies targeted specifically toward e-business are important in affecting e-business capabilities and in obtaining value from e-business, more so than non-specific general information and communication technologies (ICT) policies, which are not significantly influential. ICT infrastructure generally affects e-business capabilities, though this was not found to be the case in Brazil. Experts believed that national government institutions positively affect e-business value in SSA, but not in LA. Experts did not believe that commercial infrastructure significantly affects e-business value. This study theoretically and empirically distinguishes between two different dimensions of e-business outcomes: specific capabilities and value derived from e-business. It operationalizes the effects of national government institutions and commercial infrastructure on e-business outcomes and empirically tests for their effects. The study provides empirical support for conceptual arguments for the need of ICT policies specific to the needs of e-business.

Okoli, Chitu, Victor A. W Mbarika, and Scott McCoy. 2005. Expert assessments of cultural effects on e-business in developing countries. In IFIP WG9.4 Working Conference. Abuja, Nigeria: International Federation for Information Processing.

¬†This study investigates experts’ assessments of the pertinent factors on certain cultural factors on affecting e-business in developing countries. We design and conduct a survey that empirically solicits information from experts in e-business in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in the first phase (completed and reported here), and in Latin America in the second phase (currently in progress). Our initial results for SSA using PLS analysis show that experts believe that ICT transfer implementation strongly affects both e-business capabilities and value, but that among SSA countries, there are no significant cultural effects of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, or technology culturation. Furthermore, they do not believe that there is any significant interaction between culture and transfer implementation within SSA. This study theoretically and empirically distinguishes between two different dimensions of e-business outcomes: specific capabilities and value derived from e-business. As part of the first study that conducts a quantitative, broad-based survey on factors that contribute toward e-business in the Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America regions, it gives cause to question the common argument that native culture significantly affects the adoption of ICTs.

Okoli, Chitu. 2005. Infrastructural and organizational factors enabling e-business in Sub-Saharan Africa: A case-based research proposal. In 2005 IRMA International Conference, ed. Mehdi Khosrow-Pour. San Diego: Information Resources Management Association.

This research proposal uses a case study approach to investigate the pertinent factors affecting e-business in SSA from the perspective of national infrastructure and organizational factors. I have developed a general framework that explains what pertinent factors affect e-business in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The primary dependent variable is E-business Outcomes, consisting of both E-business Capabilities and E-business Value. The predictor variables are Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policies (consisting of General ICT Policies and E-business Policies), Government Institutions, the Commercial Environment, and ICT Transfer Implementation. Based on an action research methodology, I will specifically focus on eight representative cases in Ghana and study these cases intensively to understand how the predictor variables in my framework affect e-business outcomes in these organizations. In this research program, I expect to demonstrate that e-business capabilities and e-business value, while related, are distinct in their nature and in their contributing factors. Also, I develop a model of how environmental infrastructure-technological, political, and commercial-produces effective e-business outcomes in SSA. Finally, two important elements of this model have not been previously studied empirically, particularly not qualitatively with rich description: the institutional and commercial environment in which businesses operate; and a distinction between general policies on information and telecommunication technologies and those specifically tailored to e-business.

Okoli, Chitu, and Suzanne D. Pawlowski. 2004. The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications. Information & Management 42, no. 1 (December): 15-29.

For more details on this paper, see the listing in the section on my research on research methodology.

Okoli, Chitu, and Victor W. A Mbarika. 2003. A framework for assessing e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Global Information Technology Management 6, no. 3.

Sub-Saharan countries are experiencing tremendous growth in Internet connectivity, the use of computers, and in the diffusion of wireless communications. Electronic commerce is one of the growth areas for information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Africa. This paper presents a research framework for assessing electronic commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa. It describes the nature of the digital divide, and explains the need for the commercial applications of the Internet in developing countries in general. Further, it presents literature on e-commerce frameworks, ICT diffusion, and ICTs in developing countries that shed light on different aspects of e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, it proposes a consolidating framework that synthesizes these various literature streams and lays groundwork for a focused body of research in this area.




Mbarika, Victor A. W, Pratim Datta, and Chitu Okoli. 2010. Extending the Social Identity of Information Systems: Telemedicine Transfer to Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Information Technology Research Forthcoming.

Although Benbasat and Zmud‚Äôs (2003) pronouncement of an ‚Äúidentity crisis‚ÄĚ within the information systems (IS) discipline has been mitigated in the industrialized world, we are concerned that the crisis still looms large in the developing world. The objective of this paper is to understand how the information systems discipline can extend its social presence in developing countries to help sustain life itself. We illustrate our concern and argument with an in-depth examination of one area for which information systems research has much to offer: research into telemedicine‚ÄĒremote delivery of healthcare using telecommunications technologies‚ÄĒin Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to transform the healthcare sector of this very needy society, home to 33 of the 48 least developed (poorest) countries of the world, and host to some of the world‚Äôs most serious ongoing health crises. Contrary to common thinking, socio-political nuances require a different lens to investigate IT-enabled social development in SSA.¬† In that vein, we propose a research framework for telemedicine transfer in the context of SSA with propositions pertinent to the developing world. This paper surfaces issues often overlooked or deemed irrelevant in developed societies in which the bulk of present information systems research has been developed. We conclude by drawing thorough implications of this research agenda as a stepping stone to recreating a social identity in developing nations plagued with more immediate concerns surrounding basic human sustenance.

Stacie N. Nwabueze, Peter N. Meso, Victor W. Mbarika, Mengistu Kifle, Chitu Okoli, and Mark Chustz. 2009. The Effects of Culture of Adoption of Telemedicine in Medically Underserved
Communities. In Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 42:10. Vol. 42. CD-ROM. Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA: IEEE Computer Society, January 5.

Within  the  information  systems  discipline,  three streams   have   emerged   that   address   the   issue   of information  technology  adoption,  diffusion  and  use. The    first    examines    the    factors    influencing    an individual’s decision to accept a new technology. The second stream deals with the impact of culture on the development  and  use  of  information  technology;  and the  third  stream  is  directed  toward  the  transfer  of information  technology  from  one  country  or  context into another. While these three streams have attempted to   theorize   and   empirically   explain   the   factors influencing  information  technology  adoption  within  a new   environment,   they   have   largely   been   used separately  and  tested  within  the  context  of  advanced economies.  In  this  paper  we  attempt  to  integrate  all three  in  examining  the  introduction  of  telemedicine technology in medically underserved communities. The results suggest that the interaction effects of the factors derived from all theories provide a better explanation of  technology  introduction  in  medically  underserved communities.

Okoli, Chitu. 2006. Embedding telemedicine in its social context. Invited presentation presented at the ICTs and Health: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, March 9, Addis Ababa.

Tan, Joseph, Mengistu Kifle, Victor W. A Mbarika, and Chitu Okoli. 2005. E-medicine diffusion: E-medicine in developed and developing countries. In E-health paradigm shift: Perspectives, domains and challenges, ed. Joseph Tan, Chapter 8. New York: Jossey-Bass.

1.¬†¬†¬† Define ‚ÄúE-medicine‚ÄĚ in the context of the different periods in the development and growth of e-medicine as a concept, a discipline, and a practice
2.    Review challenges faced in the history of e-medicine
3.    Understand the significance of diffusing e-medicine in Canada
4.    Identify factors affecting e-medicine implementation and diffusion in developing countries, specifically Ethiopia
5.    Recognize the meanings and relationships among these constructs and their potential impact on e-medicine implementation success

Solomon, Aster, Mengistu Kifle, Victor A. W Mbarika, and Chitu Okoli. 2004. Telemedicine Endeavors in Ethiopia: Potential Benefits, Present Challenges, and Potential Factors. In 5th Annual Global Information Technology Management (GITM) World Conference, ed. Prashant C Palvia. San Diego: Global Information Technology Management Association.

Kifle, Mengistu, Aster Solomon, Victor A. W Mbarika, and Chitu Okoli. 2004. Critical Success Factors for Telemedicine in Ethiopia. In 2004 IRMA International Conference, ed. Mehdi Khosrow-Pour. New Orleans: Information Resources Management Association.

Mbarika, Victor A. W, and Chitu Okoli. 2003. Telemedicine in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Proposed Delphi Study. In 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, ed. Ralph H. Sprague. Waikoloa Village, Hawaii: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

By the end of 2001, an estimated 40 million people worldwide-2.7 million under age 15-were living with HIV/AIDS. More than 70 percent of these people (28.1 million) live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another killer, malaria, is responsible for as many as half the deaths of African children under the age of five. The disease kills more than one million children each year-2,800 per day-in Africa alone. As such statistics demonstrate, the need for medical care in Sub-Saharan Africa is paramount. Sub-Saharan Africa has fewer than 10 doctors per 100,000 people, and 14 countries do not have a single radiologist. The specialists and services that are available are concentrated in cities. This study examines the state of adoption of telemedicine in Sub-Saharan Africa. We present several examples of successful adoption of telemedicine in the continent, provide several research implications, and propose a Delphi study to identify the critical success factors that would enable successful implementation of telemedicine in Sub-Saharan Africa. While we do not claim that telemedicine will solve all of Sub-Saharan Africa’s medical problems, we do contend that it is a starting point to reach Africans that live in areas with limited medical facilities and personnel.



 General and other

Greenbaum, Perry J. 2009. Internet equality ‚ÄĒ Webbed and Wireless. Concordia University Magazine, Spring.

The JMSB’s Chitu Okoli believes improving internet access for less developed nations will increase their economic opportunities

Okoli, Chitu (2009). A Brief Review of Studies on Open Source Software in Developing Countries in Peer-Reviewed Journals. SSRN Working Paper Series (

For more details on this paper, see the listing in the section on my research on open source software.

Mbarika, Victor W. A, Chitu Okoli, Terry Anthony Byrd, and Pratim Datta. 2005. The Neglected Continent of IS Research: A Research Agenda for Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 6, no. 5: 130-169.

Research with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), a major region within the world’s second largest continent, is almost non-existent in mainstream information systems research. Although infrastructures for information and communication technology (ICT) are well established in the more developed and industrialized parts of the world, the same is not true for developing countries. Research on developing countries has been rare in mainstream IS and, even where existent, has often overlooked the particular situation of SSA, home to 33 of the world’s 48 least-developed countries. Ironically, it is such parts of the world that can stand to gain the most from the promise of ICT with applications that would help the socioeconomic development of this region. In this study, we present the need for focused research on the ICT development and application for SSA. The information systems research community has a unique and valuable perspective to bring to the challenges this region faces in developing its ICT infrastructure, hence extending research and practice in ICT diffusion and policy. We present here a research agenda for studying the adoption, development, and application of ICT in SSA. In particular, teledensity, telemedicine, online education, and e-commerce present important areas for research, with implications for research, practice, and teaching.

Aynu, Bilen, Chitu Okoli, and Victor A. W Mbarika. 2003. IT training in Sub-Saharan Africa: A moderator of IT transfer for sustainable development. In 4th Annual Global Information Technology Management (GITM) World Conference, ed. Prashant C Palvia. Calgary: Global Information Technology Management Association.

While the importance of IT in development strategies is widely recognized, there has been relatively little consideration of the important role that IT training or human capacity development can play in structuring a sustainable IT development. In this paper we argue that although the development of IT infrastructure is a fundamental need for effecting sustainable development in SSA, the presence of substantial infrastructure cannot yield economic development without the human capital to effect this conversion. Thus, IT training is a necessary moderator to enhance the effect of IT transfer in achieving sustainable economic development. The economic role of IT training initiatives is more indirect, operating as a moderator of IT transfer factors that lay an underlying infrastructure for innovation for the growth of IT development.



My computers

Posted by on Aug 28, 2010 in Computers and the Internet | Comments Off on My computers

My computers I love computers, and they're a big part of my life. I have three computers, and I have a page dedicated to each of them, listing their hardware and some key software elements: Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad T510 Smartphone: iPhone 3GS Work Desktop: Dell Dimension    

read more

Display advanced Unicode in Oracle SQL Developer

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Computers and the Internet | 2 comments

It can be tricky sometimes to display Unicode characters in Oracle SQL Developer. For most Unicode characters, the UNISTR function will do the trick: UNISTR(‘\25CF’) will display ‚óŹ, UNISTR(‘\2192’)will display ‚Üí and¬†UNISTR(‘\2020’)will display ‚Ć. To see the display, you can execute select UNISTR(‘\2020’) from dual; to display ‚Ć. However, some Unicode characters in higher code blocks can’t be expressed in four hexadecimal characters. For example, the code for 🍁 (a maple leaf) is...

read more

Create test data for a database with foreign keys

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Computers and the Internet | Comments Off on Create test data for a database with foreign keys

There are various free data generators to create test or dummy data for a database, but generally speaking, they don’t handle foreign keys between tables very well. This video shows how to create random data from a free test data site, manipulate the tables in Excel to maintain foreign keys and other advanced referential integrity logic, and then convert the data to SQL insert statements.

read more

Recovery Version CrossWire Version

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Gospel and Truth | 1 comment

The Recovery Version (text-only) is now available on the CrossWire SWORD Project! This means that the text is now available for a variety of computer and mobile platforms. For those familiar with the Recovery Version on iSilo, this CrossWire version has relative pros and cons: Pros: The software it runs on is dedicated Bible software, and so it is much faster to get to the verse you’re looking for and to search the full text. Some software even includes Boolean searching within verses (that is, using AND and OR within a verse). Cons:...

read more

Piazza for students: helpful tips

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Teaching | Comments Off on Piazza for students: helpful tips

Piazza is an online platform that makes asking questions to (and getting answers from) your instructor a lot easier. You can see questions and answers from other students in your class, and you can even answer each others’ questions. It is absolutely free. Different teachers might use it in different ways, but here are a few of its most common and useful features: Question and Answer forum: This is the primary purpose of Piazza. Students ask questions and they can be answered either by the instructor or by other students in the class....

read more

Creative Commons overview

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Research | Comments Off on Creative Commons overview

From time to time, I need to introduce people to Creative Commons (CC) and how it works, hence this Creative Commons overview. Creative Commons is the organization that designs legal licenses to enable open content (other than open source software) to promote a culture of creative sharing. Simply put, CC creates licenses that work under existing copyright law that authorize free copying and redistribution of copyrighted works, but with some restrictions depending on the copyright holder’s wishes. CC licenses are targeted to copyright...

read more

Critical Realist Guide to Developing Theory with Systematic Literature Reviews (Okoli 2012)

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Research publications | Comments Off on Critical Realist Guide to Developing Theory with Systematic Literature Reviews (Okoli 2012)

Okoli, Chitu, A Critical Realist Guide to Developing Theory with Systematic Literature Reviews (December 13, 2012). Available at SSRN: or While there are numerous guides on how to conduct standalone literature reviews, none specifically describes how to develop a review explicitly focused on making a theoretical contribution from a social science perspective. This article adopts a critical realist approach, which attempts to discern the latent theoretical concepts...

read more

Six steps for experiencing God’s economy

Posted by on Aug 10, 2013 in Rivers of Living Water | Comments Off on Six steps for experiencing God’s economy

God’s economy consists of arriving at the point that we realize that we can’t do the good that the Lord wants us to do. As long as we believe we can make a strong effort to do good, we are outside of God’s economy. We could say that we have to pass by the following steps: We love God’s will and we agree to do it. We try our best and we fail, fail and fail again. At last, we realize deep down, truly, sincerely that we cannot accomplish God’s will, no matter how hard we try. We stop considering ourselves, and faith...

read more

Six √©tapes pour exp√©rimenter l’√©conomie de Dieu

Posted by on Aug 10, 2013 in Rivers of Living Water | Comments Off on Six √©tapes pour exp√©rimenter l’√©conomie de Dieu

L’√©conomie de Dieu consiste √† arriver au point que nous r√©alisons que nous ne pouvons pas faire le bien que le Seigneur veut que nous fassions. Tant que nous croyons pouvoir nous efforcer √† faire le bien, nous sommes hors de l’√©conomie de Dieu. On peut dire qu’il faut passer par les √©tapes suivantes : 1. Nous aimons la volont√© de Dieu et nous nous accordons de le faire. 2. Nous tentons notre mieux et nous √©chouons, √©chouons et √©chouons encore. 3. Finalement, nous r√©alisons profond√©ment, vraiment, sinc√®rement que nous ne...

read more

Seven statuses of the church in Ephesians

Posted by on Aug 4, 2013 in Rivers of Living Water | Comments Off on Seven statuses of the church in Ephesians

The book of Ephesians shows us at least seven distinct statuses or designations of the church. The entire book is needed to understand these points in context, but I will cite only a few key verses that highlight them most strongly: Church: Eph 1:22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,”Church” translates the Greek ekklesia, meaning called out. This word refers to the assembly of those whom God has called out of the world to accomplish His own purpose, as detailed in Ephesians...

read more

Sending PHP mail from localhost

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Computers and the Internet | 3 comments

Here I provide instructions on sending PHP mail from localhost, that is, from a local development machine. I only tested this on Windows, but it should work with any localhost setting. In trying to test PHP code on Windows development machine using a WAMP stack like AMPPS or XAMPP, you might want to send mail from PHP. This should be pretty easy to do from code hosted on a hosting provider (for example, my host 1&1 provides simple instructions), but it wasn’t so easy for me from a local WAMP stack. Fortunately, I came across a blog...

read more