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More African women are accessing the internet

More African women are accessing the internet

A surge in mobile phone ownership has increased internet usage among women in Africa, leading to a drop in the mobile internet adoption gender gap to 32%, the lowest level it has reached since 2017. This is according to a new report, ‘Mobile Gender Gap Report 2024’ by GSMA released on May 15. It examines women’s mobile access and use across 12 low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). “Despite a challenging year, levels of mobile internet adoption increased in 2023 compared to 2022. The mobile internet and smartphone ownership gender gaps also narrowed for the first time since 2020,” GSMA explains in the…
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Senegal’s internet shutdowns are another sign of a democracy in peril

Senegal’s internet shutdowns are another sign of a democracy in peril

SENEGAL’S government began blocking several digital platforms – including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram and YouTube – in certain areas on 1 June. Days later, it extended the disruptions to all mobile internet and several television stations. The social networks were shut down for two days. This was followed by a four-day mobile internet shutdown. Author JEFF CONROY-KRUTZ, Associate Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University Given that nearly all Senegalese internet users access it through their mobile phones, these moves constituted a near-total block on digital communications and information. Internet penetration in Senegal has exploded in recent years. A decade…
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Algorithms, bots and elections in Africa: how social media influences political choices

Algorithms, bots and elections in Africa: how social media influences political choices

THE rise in the use of smartphones and increased adoption of mobile internet in Africa are fundamentally altering the media ecology for election campaigns. As mobile phones become commonplace, even in Africa’s poorest countries, the uptake of social media has become ubiquitous. Applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp and blogs form an integral part of today’s political communication landscape in much of the continent. Author MARTIN N NDLELA, Professor of Communication, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences These platforms are becoming a dominant factor in electoral processes, playing a tremendous role in the creation, dissemination and consumption of political content.…
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