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Social networks and their potential in African policy

2011 appears to be a year of extraordinary mobilizations of the African citizens.  I am asking myself to what extent the Internet is "responsible", "guilty", "instrumental" in all of it.

 

I am taking a look at West Africa. Can what is happening in the Arab region happen here?  What roles will Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn play?  Who will do what?

 

I put a survey here

 

You are invited to give us a shout, even if you are not in Africa!

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Comment by Ljubisa Gavrilovic on April 18, 2011 at 10:13am

Something you may find interesting to watch

 

RSA Animate - The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citi...

Comment by Ljubisa Gavrilovic on March 19, 2011 at 1:33am
Comment by Ljubisa Gavrilovic on February 13, 2011 at 11:48am

World is surely interconnected, Wikileaks has shown it. We need reflections from any place in the world. This is only way to build consensus on how to organize this planet. In small terms from one family via country, region, continent and finally world. What Internet has shown in my opinion is that technologically we can come to political agreement (in the realm of technological functioning) - example http://www.icann.org/en/presentations/beckstrom-speech-united-natio...

but can we make political agreement and consensus in political, economic and law sphere, this is subject that will be discussed for quite some time.  

Comment by Ljubisa Gavrilovic on February 13, 2011 at 11:39am
Comment by Nnenna Nwakanma on February 13, 2011 at 10:22am

The mobile phone network is larger than the computer terminals.  But the Internet is now on computers and mobile phones!  And the integration  of messages generated on cellphones to web platforms + Internet enabled phones + tradition Internet gateways ..

 

All of that is adding up to great citizen capacity. And to all of that, we want to add the capacity of social networks.. they blow it, way beyond national boundaries, connect the whole world, and rally all global citizens to our national causes..

 

Tunisia, Egypt.. and now all eyes are on Algeria

Comment by Ljubisa Gavrilovic on February 13, 2011 at 12:38am
And now, Algeria ....
Comment by Ljubisa Gavrilovic on February 12, 2011 at 11:41pm
With every communication technology invented a social change has been promissed. Same has been said for Telegraph, later for Telephone, Radio, Television.....

I can easily bet today, that revolutionary generation which will bring expected change, could easily use something else other than Internet or maybe even a blend of media technologies. As far as I understand Africa technological situation is that cell networks have much more penetration than internet.
Comment by Nnenna Nwakanma on February 12, 2011 at 10:07pm

 I agree Ljubisa, that the tool is only what the Internet is.  It is the people who fuel changes.  Change may not come "because of the Internet" but  the use of the Internet may just be what change has been waiting for.

 

In which case, the tool will make the difference. That is why I am asking the question here about West Africa.

Comment by Ljubisa Gavrilovic on February 12, 2011 at 9:13am

Responsible, guilty - as much as people using it

Instrumental - as much as it is used as a tool for the above.

Answer may simply be - do not focus on internet - put your effort on people. Do not focus on technologies used - foucus on needs and ideas. Internet is just technology - differentiate content from technology carrying it.

And finally would unrest seen in north africa spread elsewhere?  I think so - yes. This world is on the brink of change fundamentally. Would it came to it, because of internet? Only in part I believe so, but larger part is IMHO because educated and thinking individuals develop their needs and understandings, partly by using internet and pondering on other people's ideas. Internet just speeds up the things that would come to anyway.

I am shouting! I hope so. 

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