An Investigation of the Government-Related Factors that Inhibit Small to Medium Enterprises’ Adoption and Effective Use of Information and Communication Technology in Developing Countries: The Case of Zimbabwe

  • Peter MakiwaEmail author
  • Riana Steyn
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 933)


The utilisation and adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world has had a significant effect on most economies, and has resulted in sustainable growth and prosperity. This has led most global governments to develop an interest in the development of SMEs; however, most SMEs in developing countries, including Zimbabwe, are still ages behind their counterparts in developed countries with regard to the application of ICTs in business processes. The reviewed literature for this study indicates that the Zimbabwean government has failed to stimulate the adoption of ICT and its use in Zimbabwean SMEs in recent decades. This paper seeks to reveal key government-related factors and strategies that can lead to the effective adoption of ICTs in the SME sector. A case study and qualitative methodology was employed for this investigation. This facilitated an all-encompassing view of the phenomenon under study. The approach utilised semi-structured interviews to collect data, and employed a thematic analysis method. The research findings revealed that key factors that impact on ICT adoption in Zimbabwean SMEs include a lack of government support, poor policy formulation, implementation and awareness, a lack of finances, and inadequate infrastructure. Key strategies outlined in this paper include the introduction of ICT import subsidies, tax rebates for SMEs, the formulation of SME-friendly policies, the expansion of electricity and Internet infrastructure to marginalised areas, and the establishment of government ICT centres to stimulate the adoption of ICT and its use in SMEs.


Small to medium enterprise Information and communication technology Government policies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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