This panel seeks to identify the new creativity that is at stake in ICT and their applications, and to interrogate the ways they may convey new social and political challenges at the local, national and international level.
It is now common knowledge that information and communication technologies (ICT) are experiencing a rapid growth in Africa, and that they offer new modes of information and communication across the continent. As elsewhere, ICT in Africa increasingly allow for new modes of participation through blogs, comments posted on news websites, and other forms of 'user-generated contents', and provide new communication networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This panel seeks to identify the new creativity that is at stake in these new media, and to interrogate the ways they may convey new social and political challenges at the local, national and international level. Papers for the panel may include, but are not limited to, issues of mobility in social, religious and/or economic networks, especially relating to communities in, and linking, Africa, and the ways networks are altered, (re)shaped and/or strengthened through the use of ICT. Papers may also consider, but need not be restricted to, ICT and young people, especially in relation to how social media are dramatically expanding the network of contacts available to young people, and both the transformative and destabilizing potential of their application. Related topics that panellists may also address are perceptions of the technologies among both users and non-users, the livelihood configurations of ICT, and how the technologies and their application may be reshaping gender and/or generational relations.