P051
The ICT revolution: promises and possibilities for political growth in Africa
Convenors:
Warigia Bowman (University of Arkansas )
Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti State University )
Chair:
Dr. Nkechi Onyeneho
Discussant:
Dr. P-J Ezeh
Location:
C4.05
Start time:
29 June, 2013 at 17:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

Among the many promises of the ICT revolution is its potential to empower individuals and make governments more accountable and responsive to their publics. It is interesting to consider what roles the current ICT revolution will play for political growth in Africa.

Long abstract:

The current trends in ICT has made the present spate of globalisation unprecedented. Mass communication media used to be under the control of governments and other very influential economic elite. Today, the flow is so unregulated that information seamlessly passes among citizens, no matter the distance between their different locations. Even the low level of material well-being among the majority does not foreclose this. Many (including low income earners) now own and use mobile devises to access and post. Away from the mainstream media content, which are after all, still out of reach for the majority, the African diasporas now relate real time with the home-front about what leadership is doing differently elsewhere, and how citizen-activism helps to bring that about. Among the many promises of the ICT revolution is its potential to empower individuals and make governments more accountable and responsive to their publics. It is interesting to consider what roles the current ICT revolution played in the recent insurrections in parts of Africa; what implications flow from extensive use of ICT among Africans for social and political/electorate awareness and voting; and what the implications of all these are for current public officials. Even if such officials do not bother about whether their actions or inactions are now in the open, what promises and possibilities does the current ICT availability and use hold for citizens?