Posted to the Ethnos Project by on March 1st, 2014

The paper uses grounded theory to analyse the discourse on Indigenous Knowledge Systems within the South African government. Within this discourse, ICT is perceived both as a threat to African identity, through its potential facilitation of homogenisation and a potential ally, through its perceived potential to assist in the recording and dissemination of indigenous knowledge. The institutionalisation of IKS in South Africa has the potential to influence the balance of power between techno-centric and socio-centric approaches to local ICT research and development. In addition, it relocates the socio-techno divide from being a vertical division (between government and community) to a horizontal division, having impacts at all levels of society. In addition, the debate on IKS provides some indications of the nature of socio-centric approaches within the domain of the African identity, which may impact on understanding the potential ways in which ICT may be translated into this domain.

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