ACIST 2021

Digital innovation is shaping, to various degrees, all human activities around the world. For some activities which include significant volumes of information exchange, the degrees of digital innovation are very high. This is because digital innovation enables better, faster, and cheaper transactions, operations, and decisions. In Africa, it is positively influencing new ways of trade and development across the continent. With the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) leading to the beginning of trading in January 2021, we envision digital innovation to have a greater positive influence on Africa.

However, this influence cannot be taken for granted because driving digital innovation is hard work. Positively influencing trade and development requires significant research to produce knowledge on the relationship between digitization and the key issues in Africa trade and development. The target for every practical step in applying digitization will be shifting, disruptions of conventional ways will abound, and competition will increase. These are significant challenges which have to be researched so that we can produce knowledge on how and why they manifest, and how and why they can be addressed through digital innovation and policy.

The 2021 (7th) edition of ACIST focuses on digital innovation challenges and opportunities for Africa free trade and development. As we prepare for the conference, it is hoped that researchers in Africa and elsewhere will think creatively, broadly, and provocatively about the theme of Digital Innovation for Africa Free Trade & Development from many different theoretical, philosophical, policy and practical perspectives.

We invite you to participate in ACIST 2021 by submitting completed papers, research-in-progress papers or posters, position papers, panel discussion topics, and exhibition posters on topics which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Resource exploitation and allocation
  • Citizen engagement
  • Infrastructure enhancement
  • Public and private decision making
  • Human capabilities extension
  • Business innovation
  • Social services delivery

Against this backdrop, ACIST 2020 seeks to discuss the role of information systems and technology (IST) research and education in the relationship between digital technologies and a smart Africa. We invite you to participate in ACIST 2020 through this call for completed papers, research-in-progress papers or posters, position papers, panel discussion topics, and exhibition posters on topics that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Digital Innovation
  • Smart Technologies and Development Sustainable (Green) ICTs
  • ICT and Organizational Structuring
  • • Smart Devices and Mobile Ecosystems
  • Sustainable (Green) ICTs
  • ICT and Organisational Structuring
  • Smart Devices and Mobile Ecosystems
  • Internet and IS Development
  • Smart Networks and Collaborations
  • Information Systems Strategy
  • Digital Society, Knowledge and Identity
  • ICT Curriculum and Education
  • Philosophy & Methods in IS Research
  • ICT and Social Inclusion/Exclusion
  • Digital Platforms and Smartness
  • Ubiquitous Computing
  • Big Data and Business Intelligence
  • Cloud and Smart Computing
  • Smart Cities and Wireless Communications
  • Smart Government and Smart Business
  • Smart Collaborations and Crowdsourcing
  • ICT in the Oil and Gas Industry
  • Information and Computer Security
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Human Behaviour and ICT
  • ICT-Enabled Services

Paper submissions will be subjected to double-blind reviews by at least two Programme Committee members. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings with ISSN 2467-8988; and will be considered for further review and publication in the African Journal of Information Systems (

Conference venue: the ACIST’2021 conference is hosted both in person in Blantyre, Malawi and virtually via Microsoft Teams.

**Note: The times below are Malawi Time**


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Thursday, August 26th
12:00 AM

Assessing Excel Skills towards Implementation of BI Solutions in Corporate Institutions: The Case of Accountantsin Malawi

Umali Leonard, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences
Mtisunge Tupochere Malemia, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences
Patrick Chikumba, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Effective use of Excel as a BI technology requires advanced skills. The observation is that accountants use Excel is the most common analytical tool. However, they lack advanced skills to utilise Excel for Business Intelligence. Hence, the question is: What are the specific skills for accountants to use Excel as BI tool? The study adopted the qualitative case study approach using two companies (private company and statutory corporation) in which data was collected through participant observations, artefact examination and semi-structured interviews. Findings in this study indicate that accountants in corporate institutions in Malawi perform business intelligence using Vanilla Excel. However, they lack skills particularly in integration of Excel files, advanced formulas and functions, and power tools. To address these Excel skill gaps, corporate institutions need to provide adequate and relevant user-oriented trainings.


Mengistu Bogale

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Information technology (IT) usage is part of any modern organization be it a business, governmental or nongovernmental one. In a typical organization, investments on desktop and laptop computers, printers, telecommunication networks, database management systems and some specialized information systems (accounting, manufacturing, human resources, customer relationship, supply chain, etc) are commonplace. Bianchi et al (2021) stated that organizations have been using IT to automate and perform process integration, connecting the enterprise with customers, suppliers and distributors to obtain sustainable competitive advantage. Moreover, the pervasive use of technology has created a critical dependency on IT that demands considerable attention to IT Governance (ITG). Ghildyal and Chang (2017) argued that IT governance is an essential part of enterprise governance which is driven primarily by demand for transparency across enterprise IT related risks and protection of shareholder value. Aditya,et al(2018) also share the above view stating that in the era of digital transformation, IT risk is the main focus for top management, especially in business decision making. These clearly indicate that IT governance critically influences firm performance. Lazic et al(2011) also asserted that the fundamental importance of information technology (IT) in today’s business operations can hardly be refuted and while IT spending is constantly rising, the continuous debate surrounding the IT productivity paradox has decreased.

Basic Digital Skills: Next CriticalSkills Set towardsa Resilient Nation

Michael Zimba, Mzuzu University,
Misheck Nyirenda, Mzuzu University,
Patricia Khonje, Mzuzu University,

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

The world is evolving fast in terms of digital technological advancements. Nevertheless, most Malawians still lack basic digital skills. This paper starts by defining basic digital skill, learning from different frameworks through strategic document review, then justifies why basic digital skills should be introduced early in basic education institutions and be considered on the same scale of importance as traditional literacy skills. The paper then advocates for early uptake and acceptance of basic digital skills as mandatory life skills in Malawi’s basic education system and that the basic digital skills should be treated in the same level of necessity as traditional literacy skills. The paper further accentuates that the spectrum of digital skills has grown tremendously in recent years such that attaining competitively productive Information and Communication Technology (ICT)graduates requires the introduction of entry-level digital skills to be consigned further down on the Malawi national qualification framework to primary schools, adult literacy institutions and out-of-school training houses. This would, not only leave the masses of learners who drop from the education system with necessary basic digital skills to access digital information for their livelihood and lifelong learning, but also create opportunity for undergraduate university students to meaningfully engage emerging technologies. Lastly, the paper alludes that such restructuring of content would accord ICT graduates with modern skills that, not only matches the current and projected market demand of digital skills, but also adequately prepare the graduates to follow the cutting-edge of the fast-advancing digital skills continuum. This would entrench the necessary ICT-enabled resilience of Malawi as a nation.

Certificate-Less Searchable Encryption with a Refreshing Keyword Search

Kuma Ejeta, Addis Ababa University
Minale Ashagrie, Addis Ababa University

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Public Key Encryptions with Keyword Search (PEKS) scheme had been hosted for keeping data security and privacy of outsourced data in a cloud environment. It is also used to provide search operations on encrypted data. Nevertheless, most of the existing PEKS schemes are disposed to key-escrow problems due to the private key of the target users are known by the Key Generating Center (KGC). To improve the key escrow issue in PEKS schemes, the Certificate-Less Public Key Encryptions with Keyword Search (CL-PEKS) scheme has been designed. Meanwhile, the existing CL-PEKS schemes do not consider refreshing keyword searches. Due to this, the cloud server can store search trapdoors for keywords used in the system and can launch keyword guessing attacks. In this research work, we proposed Certificate-Less Searchable Encryption with a Refreshing Keyword Search (CL-SERKS) scheme by attaching date information to the encrypted data and keyword. We demonstrated that our proposed scheme is secure against adaptively chosen keyword attacks against both types of adversaries, where one adversary is given the power to select a random public key as a replacement for the user’s public key whereas another adversary is allowed to learn the system master key in the random oracle model under the Bilinear Diffie-Hellman problem assumption. We evaluated the performance of the proposed scheme in terms of both computational cost and communication cost. Experimental results show that the proposed CL-SERKS scheme has better computational cost during the key generation phase and testing phase than two related schemes. It also has lower communication costs than both related schemes.

ERP Pre-Implementation Readiness Assessment Framework: A Multi Stakeholders’ Perspective

Rahel Tekleselassie, Addis Ababa University
Lemma Lessa, Addis Ababa University
Solomon Negash, Kennesaw State University

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

These days, there is a growing trend towards ERP systems in Ethiopia. This in turn created an opportunity for ERP vendors to promote their products in the country. Due to large size and inherent complexity of ERP systems, organizations are strongly advised to check their readiness prior ERP system implementation. There are some prior research attempts to develop ERP pre-implementation readiness assessment models and frameworks. However, extant literature reveal that multi stakeholders’ perspective is not well considered in those prior attempts. Besides, most of the prior attempts are in the context of developed countries. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework to evaluate ERP pre-implementation readiness from multi-stakeholders perspective in developing country context. As a foundation, a set of critical success factors were identified from prior literature. Interview and survey questionnaire were used for data collection. Based on the result, an ERP pre-implementation readiness assessment framework is proposed. Feasibility assessment of the proposed framework revealed that the case company has limitations on a number of dimensions. Accordingly, recommendations are forwarded to address the identified gaps.

Examining the Relationship Between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Implementation: The Role ofBig Data Analytics Capabilities and Firm Performance

Dorothy Odamea Asare
Kofi Agyenim Boateng

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation continues to hold attraction from information systems enthusiasts. Perhaps due to the rising budget dedicated to the implementation in many an organization in recent times. However, understanding the critical role that ERP implementation plays in Big Data Analytics Capabilities and firm performance is lacking sufficient treatment in the literature. By applying quantitative research techniques in a case study research orientation through the use of resource-based view theoretical insights, the study takes on three key hypotheses: That ERP implementation has a positive relationship with organizational big data analytics capabilities; Big data analytics capability has a positive effect on firm performance and ERP implementation is positively related to organizational performance. Using Partial Least Squared Structural Equation Model (PLS-SEM)data analysis techniques the study established a direct link between big data analytics capabilities and firm performance, and that ERP has a direct positive and significant effect on big data analytics capabilities. Lastly, it is the claim of this study that big data analytics capabilities have a direct positive and significant effect on firm performance. Part of the implications of the study highlights the need for a qualitative or even mixed method research undertakings to broaden the frontiers of our understanding in terms of ERP implementation and big data analytics capabilities in similar organizational contexts.

Fintech Use, Digital Divide and Financial Inclusion

Solomon Odei-Appiah, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration
Gamel Wiredu, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration
Joseph Adjei, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

FinTech innovations enable the provision of financial services to many unbanked across the world by increasing access. The key role of FinTech to drive financial inclusion however suffers significant impediments including the digital divide. Nevertheless, there is paucity of elaborate theories on financial inclusion while extant literature on FinTech only identify factors that drive its acceptance and use with little attention to inhibitors such as the digital divide. Employing the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2) and the model of digital inequality, this study investigates the impact of FinTech usage on financial inclusion amidst the digital divide. A structural equation modelling technique is applied to data collected from 282 respondents in a survey. The findings confirm the influence of performance expectancy and facilitating conditions on behavioural intentions as well as a positive influence of FinTech use on financial inclusion. The results also show that digital divide measured with access, resource and force moderate the use of FinTech. Significant theoretical contributions are made by the study and practical and policy implications are offered for deepening financial inclusion.

Key Leadership Skills required for Digital Transformation: A Delphi Study based on Financial Institutions in Namibia

Vitjitua Katjimune, University of Cape Town
Irwin Brown, University of Cape Town

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Digital transformation (DT) provides financial institutions with opportunities for growth as well as an expanded reach to a variety of market spaces. One major challenge of DT efforts is the skillset of leaders along with the lack of the commitment to drive the DT initiative. The insufficient digital leadership skills and undefined digital strategies may lead to failed DT and wasted resources. This study followed a Delphi approach to identify the critical skills necessary for leaders in financial service organizations embarking on a DT journey. Based on an initial panel of 10 experts employed in financial institutions in Namibia, the top 3 skills identified pertained to (1) assessing the real benefits of the DT initiative, (2) garnering buy-in from business colleagues for DT initiatives and (3) analysing data for meaningful conclusions. The study also identified ways in which financial institutions can develop skills for DT amongst the leadership teams.

Smartphone Appropriation and Knowledge Retention in Technology-Mediated Learning

Daniel Dwomor, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration
Gamel O. Wiredu, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Digitization of learning activities has introduced some notable improvements as well as some significant knowledge retention impairments. Extant theories of knowledge retention are dominated by instrumental and cognitive approaches. Relatively less attention has been paid to the smartphone appropriation which includes instrumental and cognitive approaches but transcends them. This research adopts the smartphone appropriation approach to model antecedents of knowledge retention in the context of technology-mediated learning. It synthesizes user-invited actions based on technology design, knowledge retention, looping, and unlearning. The data analysis and model testing primarily confirm smartphone appropriation in knowledge retention. Complexity of technology usage in itself does not cause an increase in cognitive load. Cognitive load increases because of the combination of smartphone appropriation and extraneous cognitive load. The proposed appropriation model of knowledge retention complements the extant ones. The theoretical contributions are discussed with their research and practical implications.

Software Engineering Methods for the Internet of Things: A Comparative Review

Belachew U. Regane, Addis Ababa University
Sisay Yemata, Addis Ababa University
Kassaye Tilahun, Debre Birhan University

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Accessing different physical objects at any time from anywhere through wireless network heavily impacts the living style of societies worldwide nowadays. Thus, the Internet of Things has now become a hot emerging paradigm in computing environments. Issues like interoperability, software reusability, and platform independence of those physical objects are considered the main current challenges. This raises the need for appropriate software engineering approaches to develop effective and efficient IoT applications software. This paper studies the state of the art of design and development methodologies for IoT software. The aim is to study how proposed approaches have been solved issues of interoperability, reusability, and independence of the platform. A comparative study is presented for the different software engineering methods used for the Internet of Things. Finally, the key research gaps and open issues are highlighted as future directions.


Mengistu Bogale

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Health is one of the crucial elements for the development of any country and the well being as well as productivity of its citizens. Controlling and auditing the risk that may come from deploying IT for health provision is a key issue in society. This study will assess the moderating role of IT auditing on the relationship among IPLS, user satisfaction and logistics performance of health commodities in Ethiopian hospitals. Data will be collected from respondents in selected Public and Private Hospitals throughout the country using questionnaires by adopting multi stage simple sampling process(Regions, Zones, and Woredas are used to trace hospitals). The study will employ explanatory research design with quantitative approach. The data collected will be analyzed using correlation and regression analyses to investigate the effect of the independent and moderating variables on the dependent variables. The study will have significant contributions for academics, practice, policy and research.

The significance of key constructs on consumer purchase intention in online retail in a Covid-19 climate

Eden Pillay, Wits Business School
Thembekile Mayayise, Wits Business School

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

The unexpected outbreak of the COVID pandemic has affected many people and businesses in different ways. As consumers no longer felt safe going to shopping centres they considered online shopping. In South Africa, the online retail market is in its infancy and this presents an opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the current climate. This study investigated the significance of constructs associated with online consumer purchase intention (PI) in South Africa (SA) in a Covid-19 environment. A combination of the Technology Acceptance Model(TAM)and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technlogy-2(UTAUT2)model were used as a basis for the study including COVID-19 as a situational factor. A sample of 368 South African consumers participated in the study through an online survey. The results of this quantitative study revealed that the most significant constructs in determining consumers’ online retail PI in the current environment in SA are Covid-19 and Perceived ease of use(PEOU). The moderation impact of Covid-19 was significant on risk, trust, Perceived Usefulness(PU), PEOU, and Price Value(PV). The implications of this study provide many opportunities for businesses to focus on becoming agile and innovative to drive their online sales.