Africa’s agency in the competing narratives of external partners in Africa’s digital market: A comparison of Japan and China

dc.contributor.authorKinnes, Shaun
dc.contributor.authorRubidge, Laura
dc.description.abstractAccording to United Nations reports, Africa’s economic growth potential is among the highest in the world. It is thus unsurprising that many global powers have turned their attention to the continent, often motivated by the opportunity to help Africa ‘leapfrog’ infrastructure challenges through funding the innovative application of information and communication technologies (ICTs). As the global competition for Africa’s economic growth and, more specifically, Africa’s digital sector heats up, understanding Africa’s interests and agency within these negotiations becomes increasingly pertinent. This article explores some of the competing narratives provided by external states that seek a stake in the development of Africa’s profitable digital market. The article employs Lesley Masters’ (2021) digital diplomacy lens defined as ‘a means of navigating the evolving international digital governance regime and negotiating a more even playing field to address the inequalities in the international structure’. The article compares and contrasts the narratives that are framed by two ‘competitors’, namely China and Japan. These two states are expected to become significant players in the development of Africa’s digital market; China has become one of the most important funders in ICT networks in the global South and Japan’s recent pledge of $30 billion in aid to Africa includes the digital technology sector.
dc.description.sponsorshipHanns Seidel Stiftung
dc.facultyFaculty of Commerce, Law and Management
dc.publisherUniversity of the Witwatersrand
dc.relation.ispartofseriesTayarisha Working Paper Series No: 011
dc.schoolSchool of Governance
dc.subjectAfrica digitla markets
dc.titleAfrica’s agency in the competing narratives of external partners in Africa’s digital market: A comparison of Japan and China
dc.typeWorking Paper
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