04-801 D3-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University

04-801 D3

04-801 D3 
Special Topics in ICT: The Future of IT Enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa

Course discipline: ICT CoE
Core/Elective: Elective
Units: 6 (mini)
Lecture/Lab/Rep hours/week: 4 hrs lecture/week
Semester/year offered (fall/spring, even/odd/all years): S15
Pre-requisites: Graduate standing in CIT
Course description:

Africa is often called the global economy’s last frontier. Although Africa 
remains by far the poorest continent, in recent years several African countries 
have enjoyed sustained political stability and economic growth. Information 
technology (IT) is playing a significant role in the development of these 
economies. This course will explore the underpinnings and prospects for the 
future of IT and its applications in sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on the most 
recent literature and reports on economic and technology development in 
Africa, the aim will be to understand the critical factors that will determine 
how technology will develop in Africa and what business models are likely to 
succeed in creating economically viable IT enterprises in this rapidly changing 
part of the world. Student assignments will include readings, presentations, 
and projects on selected topics of relevance to the course goals and 
objectives. The course is intended for graduate students familiar with 
information technology and its current applications who are interested in 
Africa as a prospective place of employment and entrepreneurship in IT and 
its applications.

Learning objectives:

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the current 
context and future prospects for IT enterprises in Africa. Students will also be introduced to resources for on-going learning about the opportunities and 
challenges in Africa’s rapidly evolving markets. Students will learn strategies 
for developing and adapting technologies and enterprises that will be relevant 
and sustainable in sub-Saharan Africa.
After completing this course, students should be able to: 
• Identify and articulate the fundamental issues and trends influencing 
the future prospects for IT enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa
• Perform research to assess opportunities and challenges for IT 
enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa
• Create strategies for assessing the relevance and sustainability of IT 
initiatives in emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa

Content details:

Week 1 Financial, economic, and social overview Bézy
Week 2 Critical infrastructures for IT enterprises Krogh
Week 3 Applications of IT in critical sectors Krogh
Week 4 Business models for IT enterprises Bézy
Week 5 Challenges for IT enterprises Bézy
Week 6 Strategies for establishing relevance and sustainability Krogh
Week 7 Student project presentations --
There will be two two-hour sessions each week. In general the first session 
will be a lecture on the topic for the week and the second session will be 
devoted to student-led discussions on readings for the week. 

Student assessment:

Class participation 10%
Leading reading discussion 10%
Written responses for readings 30%
proposal 5%
literature review 10%
detailed outline 5%
presentation 10%
final report 20%
Total 100%