Digital technologies and the urban informal sector in Africa


African cities are still characterized by populations that are largely employed in the informal sector. But they have undergone an unprecedented digital transformation. The rapid development of new information and communication technologies, and in particular the increasing use of the Internet and mobile telephony, seem likely to lead to profound changes in the daily lives of these urban populations. The enthusiasm generated by this digital transformation is shared by a "community" of researchers, NGOs, donors, and companies around new technologies for development (ICTD). Drawing on recent research and first-hand data on the use of mobile phones in Dakar's informal sector, we will examine the nature of this ICTD discourse and will illustrate the complexity of its implications and challenges for African cities.


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In brief

Year Fifth year

Teaching languageFrench

Number of hours 9.0

ValidationContinuous assessment

Mandatory teaching



Educational manager :
Berrou Jean-Philippe [+]