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“

The conference "Digitalization in Africa" took place at the IZEW on 26 and 27 September 2018. About 40 scientists from more than 20 international universities and research centres, representatives of NGOs and foundations as well as activists and social entrepreneurs participated.

Further information about the conference is available at

You can watch the presentation of our keynote speaker Koliwe Majama here:

You can download the conference report here.

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