Equitable access to information is one of the most vital principles in the emerging global information economy, and there is perhaps no region of the world that epitomizes the conflict between the information haves and have-nots than Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In addition to the more traditional forms of poverty, a new concept, "information poverty," has emerged that better explains the true nature of being a have-not in a world increasingly reliant on information and communication technologies (ICT). This article will take a holistic approach in discussing possible first steps towards evaluating user needs in SAA, exploring the need for information professionals from industrialized nations to take a more active role in international collaboration to help combat information poverty in the developing world. This article will also examine efforts in developing countries to help bridge the digital divide with the industrialized world. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Government Information Quarterly, Vol 23, Issue 2, 2006, 267-280.