• Kira Elise Apted Tilcock
  • Ainoa Pubill Unzeta
4. term, Techno-Anthropology, Master (Master Programme)
Kenya is undergoing a rapid digital transformation, with the government striving to strengthen its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) backbone, hoping to reap the socio-economic benefits of technology. Despite the increasing digitisation in Kenyans’ everyday lives, from governmental and financial services to education, many Kenyans, especially those in remote, marginalised and underserved communities, lack affordable internet access. Community Networks (CNs) aim to bridge this digital divide by providing affordable internet and fostering digital literacy skills for meaningful and equitable digital inclusion. This research explores how seven CNs adopt fluid, local and collaborative approaches, drawing on De Leat and Mols’ theoretical framework of multiplicity, which views technologies as fluid, and Donna Harwaway’s Situated knowledge. CNs transcend their primary function as internet providers and embody fluid identities, adapting to local contexts, challenging dominant narratives surrounding technology, navigating societal challenges and empowering communities. They empower communities through hyper-local community-generated content, cultural preservation and knowledge production. CNs exhibit locality by addressing specific community needs and fostering community-driven solutions. Through engaging with their communities and collaborating with other CNs, they share resources and knowledge and support one another to tackle challenges and promote well-being. This research contributes with empirical data to broader socio-technical discourses by exemplifying how CNs ‘work’ as a fluid, contextually grounded and inclusive technological solution.
Publication date1 Jun 2023
Number of pages57
ID: 532575571