International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)


Ethical implications of IT-export to sub-Saharan Africa

Conference: Digitalisation in Africa: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Technology, Development, and Justice“

On the 26th and 27th of September the conference "Digitisation in Africa" will take place at the IZEW. The aim of the conference is to bring scholars and practitioners together and foster an international and interdisciplinary exchange on technology-based development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa. With growing activity in the fields of digitalisation and ICT for development in Africa, critical questions have to be raised: What are the motivations? How are technologies used? How do ICT influence (moral) norms of action, cultural traditions and the distribution of power?

Registration for participation in the conference is open. Please visit our website to register:

Further information about the conference is available at

The project „Bridging the digital divide with value-laden technology? Ethical implications of IT-export to sub-Saharan Africa (ELISA)” explores the practice of digitalisation in sub-Saharan Africa and its ethical implications. It will conduct such an evaluation focusing on access to information and privacy/data protection in one sub-Saharan African country. Thereby, the project regards the interaction between the implementation of technology and the conceptualisation and enactment of values, as well as the impact of IT-import on peoples’ capabilities to live a self-determined life. Amongst other theories of justice, it examines a capability-centred approach as developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum as the origin of a potential ethical obligation (or at least justification) to bridge the digital divide. Moreover, as certain values are indirectly implemented through technology, the project analyses whether and to what extent the (current) practice of IT-export is ambivalent for the importing society.



  • First period: Januar to Dezember 2016
  • Second period: Juli 2017 to Juni 2019