Disruptive Technologies, Democracy, Governance and National Elections in Africa: Back to the Future?
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With the rapid technological changes occurring throughout the world, it is unsurprising that one area that has recently been the focus of discussion relates to the implications of digital and mobile technologies, social media platforms, and the Internet environment on Africa’s democratic process and governance. Against this backdrop, this chapter, drawing on examples from a number of African countries, explored and assessed the role of mobile technologies and other forms of social media platforms in a watchdog context to check government activities and help improve the governance, electoral and democratic processes. It also examined the relationship between digital and mobile technology access and citizen mobilization and the implications for governance and democratic process, political communication, political accountability and electoral integrity among African countries. The chapter argues that despite access to digital and disruptive mobile technologies improving governance, democratic and electoral processes, there are potential harmful effects and concerns with their use. The chapter therefore calls for better education of citizens in the use of digital technologies, as well as the establishment of strategies and policies, which will guide the use of digital and mobile technologies and social media in the political sphere.
KeywordsAfrica Citizen mobilization Democracy Mobile technologies Governance
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