Protest, Internet Activism, and Sociopolitical Change in Sub-Saharan Africa
Work data:ISSN: 1552-3381
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Democracy | e-Politics | Politics and Political Science
Sub-Saharan Africa has been the scene of a sizeable wave of social and political protests in recent years. These protests have many aspects in common, while at the same time there is a certain historic continuity connecting them to previous protests, with which they also have much in common. What makes them new, however, is a hybrid nature that combines street protest and online action, making them similar to protests occurring in other parts of the world during the same period. Based on a literature review and field work on three countries, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this article addresses some of the main features of what some authors have called the “third wave of African protests.” The study points out how the digital environment is galvanizing a new process of popular opposition and enabling both greater autonomy for actors promoting the protests and greater interaction at the regional level. With the sociopolitical impact in the short and medium term still uncertain, the third wave of African protests is giving birth to a new political and democratic culture in the region as a whole.