Stream: Digital Africa

Stream: Digital Africa

As information technologies continue to become a part of the international and local innovation zeitgeist, African social, political, economic and cultural institutions and society sit at the precipice of change. However, fundamental assumptions about the democratic potential of the digital revolution lurk uneasily within the growing body of literature related to information technologies.

To be visible, to participate more fully in civic life, and to initiate the kinds of social, economic and political change envisioned by the promise of the digital turn requires resources – financial and technological. Lloyd Morrisett’s notion of the digital divide is becoming more, not less, relevant as technological proliferation sweeps the globe; pushing those without internet access, computers, mobile phones, and the knowledge to operate within this increasingly digital environment, further from the centre of change.

Digital technology, computational research methods and the algorithmic modelling that define our current informational moment, are re-shaping global financial markets, heritage industries, media and arts practice and institutions, international development aims, political spheres and the environment – and yet a comprehensive assessment of how these shifts impact Africa is lacking. As a primary site for the extraction of the raw material that powers this global revolution, and arguably, where the greatest technological innovation, and social upheaval, is taking place – what will be the digital future of Africa?


Below is an indicative list of topics:


–              Archiving in the digital age

–              The internet and the democratisation of knowledge circulation

–              Wikipedia Zero in Angola

–              Elections in Africa: the role of social media

–              Publishing African literature in the digital age

–              Financial institutions and the digital

–              Nollywood Online: Production, Visibility and Audience

–              Connectivity and Interactions: African and its diaspora

Confirmed Panels

Panel 1: Money and Mobility: Digital Finance in Africa

  • Perceptions of Digital Financial Services: Presenting an Ethnography of DFS and its Users & Non-Users in Four African Countries, Butter, Inge (African Studies Centre/Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands)
  • Connectivity at the Bottom of the Pyramid: ICTs and African Informal Economies, Meagher, Kate (London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom)
  • Business Model Adaptation to Institutional Voids in Africa: The Case of Jumia, the Amazon of Africa , Peprah, Augustine Awuah (University of Professional Studies, Accra, Accra, Ghana)
  • Mobile Money, as a New delivery Channel for Financial Inclusion and Provision of Financial Service, Kim, Kyungha (School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, United Kingdom)

Panel 2: Citizens, Systems and Institutions: Reconfiguring the Nation through the Digital

  • Digital Campaign? The Use of Facebook and Twitter in Presidential Campaign in Kenya’s 2017 Elections, Mwaura, Job (University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • A Retrospective on the Occupy Nigeria Movement: the Changing Face of Protest in the Age of Social Media, Dele-Adedeji, Ini (SOAS, Coventry, United Kingdom)
  • Higher Education Administration, Access and Democratization of Knowledge in the Digital Age at Adeyemi College of Education, Nigeria, 2014-2018, Ogen, Olukoya (Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Nigeria)
  • Creating Light-Weight Catalogues for African Archives: the Case of Madagascar, Hiribarren, Vincent (King’s College London, London, United Kingdom)

Panel 3: Encoding Race: The Body, Space and Technology

  • Stress in the Suburbs: Good Selves or Safe Selves in Johannesburg, Falkof, Nicky (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Biometrics and White Exceptionalism: The Controversy Over Universal Fingerprinting in Post-World War II Kenya, Weitzberg, Keren (University College London, London, United Kingdom)


Enquiries should be directed to Louisa Uchum Egbunike and Nathan Richards

For panel and paper submissions please follow the instructions on the website 

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