Contextualizing ICT in Africa: The Development of the CATI model in Tanzanian Higher Education

Mikko Vesisenaho
Jyri Kemppainen
Carolina Islas
Matti Tedre
Erkki Sutinen


In many parts of Africa the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in higher education institutions offers a particularly interesting research problem. This is because of
the far-reaching consequences that information and communication technology (ICT) services and
education have on the university graduates during their careers in African societies. Our extensive
and well-documented experience of utilizing ICTs in a Tanzanian private university has lead us to
propose a four-level approach, called CATI model, that can be used as the basis for implementing
new ICTs, for evaluating how ICT is used, and for planning ICT education in developing countries.
We conceptually categorize the four levels that we use in our model – contextualize, apply, transfer
and import – as an ethnocomputing approach. This four-level model enable educators to use ICT
services and ICT education in African universities in a way that will prepare university graduates to
make a positive contribution to their own societies. The success of this model is attributable to the
emphasis that we placed on local needs and creativity and on applications of ICTs that were
sensitive to local culture, conditions and understanding.


contextualized teaching, ethnocomputing, ICT education in developing countries

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