Global Communication Summit 2020
“@frica: digital media conference”
TX – February 27/28, 2020
for extended abstracts: November 22, 2019
the economic, political, cultural and social transformations brought about by the
rise of digital technologies, particularly in the media and telecommunications
sectors, are visible all over the world, it is in African countries that they
are projected to have the biggest impact in coming years. Africa, particularly
Sub-Saharan Africa, has one of the fastest growing number of internet and
mobile users in the world.
many parts of the continent, access to information and communication
technologies (ICTs) has been seen as an opportunity to “leapfrog”, a concept
that the World Bank defines as making “a quick jump in economic development” by
adopting technological innovation. This is exemplified by the success of
African startups like Ushahidi, a crowdsourcing mapping tool created in Kenya,
or Jumia, Nigeria’s number 1 online retailer; the recent opening of Google’s
Africa AI center in Ghana; and the ever-growing presence of mobile payment and
banking across the continent. Digital communication technologies have also been
used strategically by citizens in the continent to engage in grassroots
political movements that have toppled long-time rulers, led to (sometimes
short-lived) regime changes, and brought about changes in legislation.
fast growth of digitally enabled communications and services has also brought
challenges for the continent. For example, well-before the notion of “fake
news” became a buzzword in U.S. politics, many African nations, from South
Africa to Gabon or Nigeria, were targets of large-scale misinformation
campaigns over social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook. Additionally, young,
highly-educated, and digitally-savvy graduates in many African countries have
been employed by transnational tech companies such as Facebook for data
processing in what some authors describe as digital sweatshops. The positive and
negative impacts of this technological revolution are therefore important
African countries, their people, and their mediated interactions remain
understudied in the fields of media and communication, especially in Western countries,
the “@frica: digital media conference” invites extended abstracts (800-1,000
words) that examine the transformations and disruptions of digital media in
but not exclusively, we invite contributions that explore any of the
methodological challenges exist in studying digital media use (such as social
media and/or mobile communications) in Africa?
theoretical frameworks, constructs and paradigms are best suited to study
transformations and disruptions of digital media in Africa?
has social media been used by African political actors, social movements and
grassroots activists and to what effect?
are the roots, consequences and differences between countries of existing
disparities in access to digital media in Africa?
are digital technologies influencing, complementing, and/or superseding
journalistic practices in Africa?
does the sharing economy (e.g. Uber, Upwork…) transform and/or reinforce social
norms, values, practices, structure and culture in Africa?
are the prevailing regulatory frameworks that affect digital media use in
socio-economic, cultural and economic factors shape the adoption, diffusion and
appropriation of digital technologies in Africa?
deadline to submit extended abstracts is November
22, 2019. To submit an extended abstract, please go to https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=admc20. You will need to
create an account to make a submission.
organizers will notify by email the authors of accepted extended abstracts by December
6, 2019. Authors will be expected to submit full papers by February 2, 2020.
“@frica: digital media conference” will accept a limited number of virtual
presentations, in which authors who are unable to travel to Houston, will be
able to present their work and get feedback from the audience virtually.
Authors who wish to be considered for one of the virtual presentation slots
should indicate their preference when submitting their extended abstracts.
selection of accepted papers will be included in a Special Issue of the Journal
of African Media Studies to be published in 2020. Only
accepted papers that are presented at the conference will be considered for the
about the conference and the Call for Papers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org