Latest Blog Post

Monday, 27 November, 2023 - 17:46


The growth in the popularity of the internet around the world, as evidenced by growing user numbers, particularly in Africa, has enabled citizens to harness its power as a tool of agency, creating new global and transnational spaces for civic participation, advocacy, and social change. Digital technologies have become crucial tools for African citizens to highlight concerns, claim rights, and demand social justice. At the centre of this digital transformation are two key and interconnected concepts: (i) digital citizenship to claim rights; and (ii) digital solidarity to act collectively to secure social change. These twin concepts highlight that citizens exercise their rights and collectively support each other in the digital realm. This post reflects on how these two concepts manifest in the African context and how they are shaping the continent’s socio-political landscape. Building on our previous conceptualization of digital...

All Blog Posts

Some African governments are spending millions to spy on their citizens – stifling debate and damaging democracy

Governments around the world use surveillance technology to monitor external threats to national security. Some African governments are also spending vast sums on mass surveillance of their own citizens.

Safety and regulating risks: who is safe in 'safe cities'?

This week the UK is set to host its first AI Safety Summit. It aims to bring together international governments, leading AI companies, civil society groups and research experts to consider the risks of AI and how they can be mitigated through governance and international collaboration.

Abolition of Technologies for Social Justice

This is the core of my contribution to a Nethope 2022 seminar at the invitation of Oxfam US.

Why millions of Africans are right to resist mobile SIM card registration

Mobile SIM registration linked to digital ID is causing exclusion of marginalised groups, and concerns about privacy in the absence of sufficient legal safeguards, especially in nations with a history of abuse by authorities.

Podcast with Eve Hayes de Kalaf on Digital Identity

State Surveillance Violates Citizens Rights: lessons from six countries

Co-authored with Ridwan Oloyede


Pegasus Spyware is just the tip of the surveillance iceberg

State surveillance of citizens extends far beyond Pegasus spyware, the software developed by the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group. There is a multi-million-pound global market in which companies compete to profit from helping states to illegally spy on their own citizens.

Social Media and Digital Rights during Ethiopia’s General Election

During Ethiopia’s June 2021 

Repressive Governments Play Whack-a-Mole with Citizen’s Digital Rights

Like so many aspects of our life, democratic debate is increasingly moving online. Yet it seems like every time citizens adopt a new digital tool or enter a new digital space to voice opposition, repressive governments respond with a whole arsenal of tactics to dampen dissent and deny their right to opinion and expression.

Digital rights in closing civic space: lessons from ten African countries

The publication of Digital Rights in Closing Civic Space by the African Digital Rights Network is the first comprehensive analysis of the range of digital technologies and tactics being used across Africa by citizens to open democratic space online and by governments to close it down.

Podcast with Phillip Howard

In this episode of the IDS podcast series Between the Lines I discuss with Professor Phillip Howard his latest book ‘Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives’ 

Trump Disinformation Machine must be a wake-up call

In 2020 Donald Trump was reportedly the biggest source of political disinformation in the world, fuelling social unrest, voter supression