CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Development of Telecommunications in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven D. Zink

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

John A. Scigliano

Abstract

There are few telephone lines available in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the vast majority of people in the DRC do not have access to basic telecommunications services. The obstacles to the sufficient development of the telecommunications infrastructure by either public or private sector organizations are not well understood. The three major goals of this project were: (a) to determine what telecommunications stakeholders perceive to be the primary factors that would encourage or inhibit investment in the DRC by surveying individuals who have direct knowledge of the telecommunications sector in the DRC; (b) to explore solutions for the lack of adequate investments in the telecommunications infrastructure by using a qualitative research approach based on an open-ended questionnaire with potential investors in the region; and (c) to provide recommendations for the development of an environment conducive to a successful telecommunications infrastructure in the DRe. The following three research methods were used in this study: (a) a survey of telecommunications stakeholders and scholars, (b) an open-ended questionnaire with potential telecommunications investors, and (c) a triangulation of the data collected from the survey, open-ended questionnaire, and the review of the literature. The findings indicated that telecommunications stakeholders perceive financially oriented obstacles to be the greatest obstacles to the development of telecommunications in the DRC; potential investors and domestic partners perceive organizational/policy obstacles to be the greatest issues. This gap in perceptions between the stakeholders and investors must be overcome in order to develop the sector. This study concluded that the government of the DRC should implement the following strategies to attract foreign investment and develop the sector: (a) maintain economic and political stability, (b) privatize the national operator, (c) create new legislation to promote investment and incentives in the sector, and (d) improve basic infrastructures in rural areas.

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