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Bidwell N.,Center for for Development
Interactions | Year: 2010

There is a need to design tools that richly support an ubuntu identity for South Africa to enable local people to reproduce their own system of social capital. Social capital involves recognizing and responding to patterns of conduct within social relations, which contain meanings about personhood or concepts about self. The concept of ubuntu in Nguni languages translates to the being human of a human being is noticed through his or her being human through human beings. Communication protocols in which villagers perform identity are not well supported by available media since display of unity demands transparent, frequent contact. Sometimes expense marginalizes villagers' use of ICT. These actions involve a level of autonomous choice that may be more open to those inhabiting a diverse nexus and familiar with performing multiple distinct identities.


Bidwell N.J.,Center for for Development | Winschiers-Theophilus H.,Polytechnic of Namibia
Interactions | Year: 2010

Localizing interaction design in Africa is critical for improving usability and user experience for African populations. Competition for enrolling in information technology in Southern Africa as part of higher and tertiary education is often severe, and with positive employment policies for Africans or nationals there is little shortage of IT employment for graduates at locally competitive salaries. Schools in Africa continue to favor instructive modes in which a teacher reads from a textbook and a student listens and repeat. Teachers, as other elders, have authority in knowledge transfer, and young people are not encouraged to explore independently or pursue curiosity-driven questions in learning. African students should be trained to analysis the relevancy of system design and development practices that originate in norms produced elsewhere. Investing in specialized advanced courses in Africa, for overseas students, may also begin to redress bias in curricula exerted by the need for African universities to gain international accreditation.

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