Africa continues to connect. For 2010 alone, the continent
- 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions
- 600 million Facebook accounts
- 6.1 trillion SMS messages sent daily
- 2 billion YouTube videos watched daily
- 110 million Twitter messages sent daily
But what does it all mean? As Egypt and Tunisia have shown, networked information and communication environments can give rise to real change. Do Africa’s impressive connectivity measures indicate accessibility, free expression and an engaged populace? Do they indicate much larger opportunities to spur development and security?
Steven Livingston, Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs at George Washington University, says the new African information environment creates an unprecedented opportunity for change. At next week’s event Professor Livingston will explain how Africa’s information systems are fundamentally shaping the continent’s development and security outcomes. The discussion will also include insights on how information systems are impacting sectors including banking and agri-business.
“Africa’s Emerging Infosystems: A Pathway to Security and Development” event takes place next Tuesday, February 22nd from 12-2 on the 6th floor of the Main World Bank building in room 100 (MC6-100). The street address is 1818 H Street, Washington DC. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate if you are not a World Bank Staff member.
Chair and Moderator: Sahr Kpundeh, Africa GAC-in-Projects Team Leader and Sr Public Sector Specialist, Africa Public Sector & Capacity Unit, World Bank
Discussant: Eric Chinje, Manager, Global Media Program, the World Bank Institute
Steven Livingston is Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International
Affairs with appointments in the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) and
the Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA) at The George Washington
University. He served as the director of the Political Communication Program
when it was a degree-granting entity within SMPA (1996-2002; 2004-2006). In
2004, he served as acting director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, a
position held until August 2006. He also founded the Public Diplomacy Institute
(PDI) at GWU in 2000 and served as the chairman of the Board of Directors until
2008. PDI is now called the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global
Communication. Livingston's research and teaching focus on media/information
technology, national security and global politics. He is particularly
interested in the role of information technologies and media on global
governance and international security concerns.