Digital development and educational outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A recipe for inclusive development or deepening divides?

A project on how the spread of digital information and communication technology in Sub-Saharan Africa has affected educational outcomes and inequalities.

This project aims to investigate how the spread of digital information and communication technology (ICT) in Sub-Saharan Africa affects educational outcomes and inequalities. Specifically, we will use detailed survey data to investigate the impact of the spread of ICT on literacy and educational attainment and explore the mechanisms at play, utilizing within as well as across household variation to identify the possible effects. We will also use unique schooling data to assess the effects on teacher quality and effort, the employment of IT-tools in schools, and student test scores.

To this end, we will draw on detailed geospatial data on ICT infrastructure and the outcomes of interest, allowing for the use of quasi-experimental statistical techniques, coupled with insights from key informant interviews with stakeholders in ICT development projects in the region.

In 2022, we will compile data and initiate the data analysis. In 2023, we will carry out the bulk of the empirical analysis. In 2024, we will complete all outstanding parts of the research and disseminate the results.

Unlike most previous work in the area, we will be able to differentiate between 2G, 3G/4G and fiber cable infrastructure, which have critically different implications in terms of the inputs in the educational production function. As such, the project will also inform the ongoing debate on the gap between education and learning, which is arguably especially relevant in Sub-Saharan Africa.   

IFFS is a project partner in this project and the people listen below are the ones employed by IFFS. The project owner is the Unviersity of Gothenburg where you find the project manager Pelle Ahlerup.



Principal Investigator

Project members

Ann-Sofie Isaksson Associate Professor, Economics


Swedish Research Council