Abstract - The Informtion Society 6(1-2)

Barriers to Electronic Mail Systems in Developing Countries

Khalil F. Matta and Naji E. Boutros

The use of electronic mail systems (EMS) in less developed countries is practically nonexistent. The barriers to the use of EMS in these countries can be categorized as technical, economic, political, and social. Technological barriers include: 1. the unavailability of the technology to receive, store, and transmit data, 2. the status of communication lines, and 3. the lack of technological support, including a skilled labor force and reliable power supplies. Economic barriers include relatively high unemployment rates and large debts to industrialized nations. The most important political barrier facing EMS in developing countries is nationalism; most countries view information as a national resource that should be governed by rules and regulations. The most difficult barriers to overcome are social barriers, which include individualistic, organizational, and societal factors. Multinational organizations should develop and implement international standards for EMS.

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