Russell Southwood
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Sub-Saharan Africans start to live the digital life (2000–20)
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This chapter looks at the emergence of digital life in sub-Saharan Africa and the failures and successes of the early pioneers, who largely drew upon diaspora users. It examines the challenges of local African content producers in a range of different fields, including: music and entertainment; news and tabloid media; and user-created content. Realising the growing power of online content, African governments have sought to control it through a combination of taxation and censorship. In addition, the business models for online content have proved difficult to develop, particularly for ‘traditional’ print media. Drawing on user research, the chapter concludes by outlining how those accessing the internet in sub-Saharan Africa use it in their daily lives. It identifies the impact of key barriers like education, language and literacy that hold back higher levels of usage.

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Africa 2.0

Inside a continent’s communications revolution


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