Digital technologies and youth mobility in rural Zimbabwe
Gwaka, Leon Tinashe
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The adoption and use of digital technologies (DTs) in rural communities have an impact on several aspects of the society. Using empirical evidence from selected villages of Beitbridge district in Zimbabwe, this study examines the relationship between DTs and youth mobility. The different types, causes, and motifs associated with youth mobilities are explored using qualitative research methods including focus group discussions and community visioning workshops. Study findings reveal challenges facing youths in trying to be mobile including social (mainly gender) inequalities. Thus, women were found to be less mobile. Lack of infrastructure was found to be another key challenge impacting youth mobility. The study however found that DTs are being adopted and this has led to virtual mobilities, which is redefining youth mobility. The opportunities and challenges of integrating virtual mobilities and physical mobilities were explored. The study findings are critical to various actors including ICT, education, and other sectors in that they show opportunities that need to be expropriated to enhance youth mobility, which is key to socio‐economic well‐being of youths, as well as the challenges that can be faced through the ubiquity of DTs.