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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH
The adaptation of technology has remained a significant factor in human progress as a result of the increase in the world’s unification both socially and economically(Poushter, 2016). The huge impact of the internet cannot be over emphasised considering the fact that we are in a digital world. (Touray, 2015) cited that the Dalberg Survey Report (2013 p.16) states that “the internet is a tremendous, undisputed force for economic growth and social change, However, its potential is still largely untapped particularly in Sub Saharan Africa”.According to (Guerrero, 2015), Using the on device research (2014), a survey was conducted with 2000 mobile internet users, 68% of Kenyans, 62% of Nigerians and 61% of Nigerians discover that mobile internet has made a significant impact in their lives, helping them resolve basic needs. In their opinion, it has provided better access to the everyday need of human development and finally, it has promoted better communication process between friends and family even when they stay separately.
Hence, (Friederici, 2016) writes that there have been investments of enormous funds in projects and plans intended to connect the world’s remaining four billion people without an internet connection, thereby presenting the internet as a tool to achieve a range of economic and social developmental goals. In addition he cited that a report by Delloitte commissioned by Facebook internet.org states:
The internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries. By providing access to information, connecting people to business everywhere, and opening up new markets, the internet can transform the very nature of an economy and support economic development (p.3)
While the changes that have been empowered by the internet have brought about sundry benefits to economies, they have equally raised novel contests for economic sustainability. Even some of the economic and social effects of ICTs that seem unswervingly helpful have had the indirect consequence of underpinning trends that are unsustainable in the longer term (Everett, 2015).
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This research looks to investigate this gap which is a significant figure with regards to economic growth. The primary research question for this dissertation is how can internet in emerging economies be managed to foster sustainable growth in internet services while diminishing the gap when measured against advanced economies?The aim of this research is to investigate and establish ways for an emerging economy (Nigeria) to better manage and sustain growth in internet services, as the latter is a key indicator for levelling up with advanced or developed economies. This forms the basis for the objectives of this research, they are follows:
1. To understand the current literature review on how internet services are sustained and managed in developed economies.
2. To investigate the current sustainability and management approach to the growth of internet services in an emerging economy – Nigeria.
3. Compare Objectives (2) with (1).
4. To critically analyse the obtained results from the research and provide findings respectively.
5. To draw conclusions & make recommendations on how to integrate the results obtained from findings which will boost the sustainability of internet services in emerging economies.
1.3JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RESEARCH
The study of Ayoola and Afolabi (2015), recognised the role of internet as a driver for national and economic development; but this can only be a pipe dream if there is no sufficient investment and management strategies and methodological approaches that can sustain the ICTs infrastructure. The chief thrust of the ICT policy in Nigeria can be garnered from its mission statement to make Nigeria a key player in the information society using ICT as the sustainability engine. There are a lot of internet services in most developing countries in Africa, but they are neither properly managed nor maintained in order to bring out the best in them. In fact, there are no clear road maps to sustaining these services for economy, social or political development (Josiah and Onyegbule, 2015).
It is with the above reasons in mind that this research tends to address this problem of critical significance for today’s world and future generations which is the challenge of sustainability and management of internet in the growing economy, society and environment and the transformations in economy, politics and culture that can be resulted from the sustainability and management of information and communications technologies (ICTs) especially the Internet. This research in addition will create awareness to the government, individuals and researchers on the importance of internet for sustainable development which has long been recognised by developed countries. This will reduce income deficiency by enabling a continued gain in economic well-being of developing countries.
A comparative assessment of an emerging economy-Nigeria and a developed economy-UK using data collected by organisations like the World Bank, UN, ITU, and WEF for the past five years is the methodological approach used for this research. Data collected from 2013-2017 on emerging and developing economies from the organisations mentioned above using the “6 components and 24 indicators of the Digitization Index”(Katz, et al. 2014) as variables will be reviewed and analysed. The methodology also includes the review of the data relating to development plans and selected data of both economies (Falebita, 2017).Hence, this research is based on secondary data which will then be compared to fulfilthe research aim and objectives in section 1.2 above.
1.5 OUTLINE OF THE REST OF THE DISSERTATION
The next chapter presents the literature review of the dissertation while chapter 3 discusses the methodology mentioned in section 1.4 above, followed by the findings in chapter 4, then the last chapter concludes with the analysis of the findings in chapter 4.
CHAPTER 1 SUMMARY
A brief introduction on the background of the research was given laying emphasis on the impact of the internet in achieving the economic and social development growths in emerging and developed economies. The research question, aim and objectives were stated in the next section focused on understanding the sustainability and management approach in developed economies. This was followed by the justification for the research, next was an outline of the methodological approach which is comparative assessment and finally an outline of the rest of the dissertation was given.
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