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Information Technology and Democratic Participation in Africa

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This paper assesses the nature of political communication and democratic participation in Africa to determine whether these technologies are changing the face of politics on the continent. It analyzes who has access to the forums; topics that are discussed; what influence these digital forums have on political decision making; and the extent to which they replicate or differ from the affective and emotive manifestations of political interaction in the "real" world. It concludes that a lot more people are getting a lot more information, but that this does not translate into a significant expansion in the numbers and categories of those who engage in, and hence influence, the direction of politics on the continent.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Communications and Culture, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N1N4


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