GreenICT Awareness Among African Students - Critical for Sustainable ICT4D

We have long advocated for Green ICT awareness in ICT4D. A 2015 paper "Assessing University Students’ Attitude toward Green Computing Practices" from Nigeria provides insight into the short-term future of Green ICT in the region.

The author, Bello Abdullah Birch of the College of Science and Technology, Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, starts by citing previous studies. The situation was not encouraging.

"...the majority of [Botswanan] students had limited or no knowledge of green environmental issues, and frequently engaged in practices that led to unnecessary high consumption of electricity. Although the college made efforts to create energy conservation awareness via posting green ICT messages and power saving tips in all classes and computer labs, students’ levels of green environmental awareness remained low and discouraging. Despite the efforts, students remained oblivious to the need to use energy efficiently."

Another researcher "...found slightly higher levels of awareness among Mauritian students, but discovered a gap between their awareness levels and practices. Although students reported having moderate knowledge and awareness of green ICT, their daily practices were inconsistent with their self-report. Only 18% turned off their computers and other electrical appliance when not in use, and most had misconceptions about power saving practices."

Birchi's 2015 research with Nigerian students yielded more positive results than the above-two 2012 studies. "... [the] majority (80.2%) of the respondents have agreed and tend to exhibit green computing practices." Interestingly, "Female students were reported to have higher level of agreement on green computing practices...than did their male counterparts...female university students were more concern about green environment and have more likely intention to adopt green computing practices than their male counterpart."

This bodes well for the integration of Green ICT with ICT4D in Africa.