Exploring the tensions and incongruities of Internet governance in Africa
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GOVERNMENT INFORMATION QUARTERLY
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Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews and statistical analysis of policy reports and documents, this paper examines how African nation states interact with Internet governance at the international level. There is a dominant paradigm at work that values the multistakeholder approach and encourages dialogue and equal representation. While, in principle, this model has developed for the good of all participating countries, we illuminate tensions and incongruities experienced by African nation states. We use three analytical frames that focus on the way countries are measured and ranked as ICT ready - what we refer to as accumulating evaluative value, the forms of resistance that emerge in order to counter the universalising values of Internet governance, and the way spatial geographies of Internet use and access are mapped out politically. We draw attention to a paradox of stakeholder participation arguing that African nations experience continual disempowerment and alienation in their compliance with international directives.