African Digital Diplomacy
iplomacy practised by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platforms and capabilities has grown exponentially over the short duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. In part, this is because digital technologies were already rising in importance as avenues for the conduct of foreign policy work. This series was devised with the aim of making an African conceptual-cum-empirical contribution to this new and dynamic practice. The articles in the series attempt to locate the African dimensions of digital diplomacy in the broader global practice. Authors were asked to discuss theoretical concepts around digital diplomacy but also – and perhaps more importantly – provide examples of digital diplomacy in practice on the continent. Contributions include continental state of play, regional perspectives and individual country perspectives.
This series is a partnership of the African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS) at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Africa Portal, a project of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).
Diplomacy's evolution from horseback to Zoom
Diplomacy has been conducted since time immemorial: it is said to be as old as humankind, to be as old as the hills, as old as history, as predating history. One would ask how old is mankind; how old are the hills and how old is history, but it is not easy to answer such questions with precision...
Pathways for theorising African digital diplomacy
Digital diplomacy is increasingly taking centre stage as a game-changing concept and practice of global affairs as we enter the third decade of the 21st century...
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM): An example of digital diplomacy in practice
For this article, digital diplomacy is conceived as the continuation of foreign policy by technological means. It is “seen as an important tool in furthering a nation’s foreign policy as it enables direct interaction and engagement with foreign publics”...
Lessons learned in the fire: Preliminary observations on Africa’s digital transformation
The numerous inefficiencies inherent in most African states have become even more apparent. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the area of digital transformation (DT), which has affected every sector from diplomacy, business, to public governance...
Integrating digital media as a diplomacy tool in advancing Kenya’s national interests
The digital element is inevitable in the conduct of diplomacy in today’s networked world. Development and application of digital media tools in order to engage foreign publics is referred to as “digital diplomacy"...
Is digitalisation de-Africanising African public diplomacy? A philosophical reflection
Over the years, Black African scholars, critics and politicians have popularised the belief that digital cultures are essentially western forces contributing to the westernisation of the African continent...
Twiplomacy in Africa: Possibilities and pitfalls for diplomats
The microblogging website Twitter is the most commonly used social media platform by government officials, diplomats and world leaders to engage with the public, communicate policy and leverage their influence. This practice has come to be known as ‘twiplomacy’ – a term coined by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller...
The role of digital diplomacy in state recognition in Africa
International recognition is an essential step for nascent states to achieve full statehood and inclusion in the international society. An aspiring entity has to meet some obligatory benchmarks including...
Digital media and the diplomatic relations of Nigeria
This paper examines the examples of Nigeria’s digital diplomacy to date and the effectiveness of this engagement.