Entrepreneurial capacity, government intervention and diffusion of technologies in Uganda: Comparing the supply side of modern types of energy and mobile telephony technologies
George Bill Batte
Izael Pereira Da Silva
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The diffusion of modern technologies plays a critical role in job creation. Mobile Telephony Technology (MTT) has been successfully diffused in Uganda, within a short time, and with minimal government intervention. However, despite heavy government interventions, Modern Energy Technology (MET) remains outside the reach of most Ugandans. Low access to MET seems to be contributing to Uganda’s under-development and unemployment. Projects initiated to spur MET diffusion haven’t been very successful, and METs widely used in other developing countries and successfully piloted in Uganda have found minimal diffusion and failed to up-scale. Although policy makers are quick to blame poverty and ignorance for the slow diffusion of MET, the rapid diffusion of MTT in similar environments have put to doubt most these arguments. This study explored the diffusion of technologies in Uganda, using entrepreneurial capacity as an independent variable. By comparing the fast diffusing MTT with the slow diffusing MET, this study helps to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of technology diffusion in Uganda. Using government documents and a questionnaire survey targeting employees of MTT and MET vending firms, the study identifies differences in intervention related to governance, regulation and funding between MTT and MET vendors, which significantly affect some aspects of Entrepreneurial capacity. The study also found evidence of significant differences in the constructs of Entrepreneurial Capacity measured for MET and MTT vending firms that affect technology diffusion.