Digital Divide special issue

Information, Communication & Society

Era or error of transformation? Assessing afrocentric attributes to digitalization

Read the introduction and access the rest of the issue online

Guest-edited by Bruce Mutsvairo, Massimo Ragnedda, vice-chair of IAMCR Digital Divide Working Group, and Kristin Skare Orgeret, this themed issue of Information, Communication & Society originates from a one-day pre-conference held at the 2019 annual conference of IAMCR held in Madrid, Spain.

While the continent of Africa has long been depicted as economically and socially underdeveloped compared with other parts of the world, the potential of its peoples, natural resources and nations has always been recognised. In recent years however, it is the transformative capacity of digital communications media, particularly mobile phones, for young urbanised populations that is seen as heralding sustainable socio-economic growth and political stability. This special issue of Information, Communication & Society intends to throw a rare and critical light upon these claims by examining how new media may be changing the everyday lives of Africans. It also seeks to understand the implications of these technological changes for nation-states within the wider geo-political context of post-colonial relations and the emergence of China as a major investor. What barriers and challenges still exist for digital literacy, human rights, democratic governance, business innovation and digital access?

The special issue features contributions by Téwodros W. Workneh, Dele Oyedemi, Hayes Mawindi Mabweazara, Allen Munoriyarwa and Dumisani Moyo, Saifuddin Ahmed and Dani Madrid-Morales, Florence Madenga, Akintola Olaniyan and Ufuoma Akpojivi, Norbert Wildermuth, Lorenzo Dalvit and Tatenda Chatikobo, Maha Bashri and Florence Nemasinga.

Information, Communication & Society publishes current work on the social, economic, and cultural impact of information and communication technologies. Editor-in-chief: Brian Loader.