Digitalisation for whom: The determinants of residents' use of the digital property address system in Accra, Ghana

Louis Kusi Frimpong, Stephen Leonard Mensah, Seth Asare Okyere, Matthew Abunyewah, Stephen Kofi Diko, Seth Barnie Enning, Joshua Mawutor Attigah

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    Purpose: There is an emerging digital turn in urban management in Africa, undergirded by efforts to address the challenges of rapid urbanisation. To ensure that this digitalisation agenda contributes to smart and sustainable communities, there is a need to trace residents' use of emerging digital technologies and address any impediments to broader utilisation. To this end, this paper aims to examine the determinants of residents' use of Ghana's digital property address system (DPAS) in suburban communities in Accra. 

    Design/methodology/approach: Drawing on a detailed literature review of digital technologies and the factors that affect their use, this paper uses data from a cross-sectional survey of three suburban communities in Accra. A binary logistic regression model was then utilised to identify the significant factors that affect residents' use of the DPAS. 

    Findings: The findings showed that socioeconomic, housing, and psychosocial factors were the main determinants of residents' use of the DPAS. Specifically, house ownership, education and expected benefits had a positive relationship with residents' use of the DPAS. Findings highlight the need for urban policymakers to pay attention to systemic issues in Ghana's digital culture to ensure that digitalisation initiatives do not widen the digital divide and thus impede progress towards smart and sustainable urban development goals. 

    Originality/value: The growing scholarship on digitalisation in Africa has emphasised conditions, potentials and challenges in deploying digital technologies with little attention to the determinants of residents' use of these technologies. This paper contributes to filling this knowledge gap by bringing foundational issues critical to engendering equitable digitalisation agenda in Ghanaian cities and beyond.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


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