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Negotiating the Net in Africa: The Politics of Internet Diffusion

Ernest J. Wilson III and Kelvin R. Wong, editors
Negotiating the Net in Africa: The Politics of Internet Diffusion
ISBN: 978-1-58826-421-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-115-6
2006/238 pages/LC: 2006011926
iPolitics: Global Challenges in the Information Age

"A unique and important work.... The authors have talked with people who have not been talked with before, and put the information together in a way that could have a great impact on Internet diffusion and policy in Africa."—Kenneth Rogerson, Duke University

"These well researched, well constructed case studies underscore the importance of the information sector for the future of developing countries." —Robert Ostergard, Jr., SUNY Binghamton


Why do national patterns of Internet expansion differ so greatly throughout Africa? To what extent do politics trump technology? Who are the "information champions" in the various African states? Addressing these and related questions, Negotiating the Net in Africa explores the politics, economics, and technology of Internet diffusion across the continent.

The "Negotiating the Net" framework is applied consistently to chapters on Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania, allowing a rich, comparative analysis based on in-country research and extensive interviews with key stakeholders. Three broader chapters reflect a cross-cutting perspective. The result is a comprehensive discussion that, while dealing specifically with Africa, is also highly relevant to other regions in the developing world.


Ernest J. Wilson III is Dean and Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. Kelvin R. Wong is assistant research scientist in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. 


  • Introduction: Negotiating the Net in Africa—the Editors.
  • Ghana: The Politics of Entrepreneurship—E. Osiakwan, W. Foster, and A. Pitsch Santiago.
  • Guinea-Bissau: "Pull and Tug" Toward Internet Diffusion—B.M. King.
  • Kenya: Diffusion, Democracy, and Development—M. Muiruri.
  • Rwanda: Balancing National Security and Development—A. Nsengiyumva and A. Pitsch Santiago.
  • South Africa: The Internet Wars—C. Lewis.
  • Tanzania: From Padlocks to Payments—J. Miller.
  • The Role of International Cooperation—L. Adam.
  • Conclusion—E.J. Wilson III.