Information and communication technologies and mobility in the Horn of Africa: a review of the literature

Peter Chonka, Yidnekachew Haile

Research output: Book/ReportReportpeer-review


This review examines how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) affect intentions and behaviours relating to mobility within the Horn of Africa (HoA). A recent review of literature conducted by the Research and Evidence Facility (REF) – a project of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa (HoA Window) – has highlighted a growing body of research examining the role of social media in driving HoA migration, and its use by migrants on their journeys (REF,
2020, p 27). However, there has been much less exploration of the broader role of ICTs in changing patterns of mobility, whether by promoting the growth of social networks that facilitate movement, distributing information that renders movement less necessary, or sharing the benefits of movement more widely. This rapid review draws on the general literature on the role of ICTs in migration and livelihoods to assess the extent to which these (global) research findings apply to different settings
within in the HoA. The HoA region is defined here as encompassing Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia/Somaliland, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. We review the available literature from the region that examines people’s access to and use of ICTs, and the impacts that ICTs have on various aspects of life in general and mobility in particular. This includes discussion of which ICTs are being used and by whom. ICTs here encompass basic, feature and smart mobile phones, computers,
internet access, online services such as email, and multiple social media platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyEuropean Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2020


  • ICT
  • Migration
  • Social Media
  • Horn of Africa
  • Mobile phone


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