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Abstract

The paper examines external actors in the formulation of national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policies. It questions how external actors overtly or covertly influence formulation of national ICT policies following that, of the nearly 84% of the countries in Africa that have formulated national ICT policies, most of which have been influenced by external actors. The paper uses Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice to analyze the effects of external actors’ influences in developing countries by using Malawi as a case study. Document analysis is used to analyse external actors’ influences in policy documents, the minutes of policy actors’ meetings, and policy reports. The paper finds that developing countries cannot do without the contribution of external actors in the formulation of national ICT policies. The study did not identify any link between policy formulation and country context. The findings offer stakeholders of public policy important insights into how they can manage external actors during the policy process.

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