Impact of digital influence on Africa’s elections: lessons from Kenya

What does Kenya’s recent experience reveal about the growing trend of digital influence and disinformation during polls?

‘We knew this election would be won on tech,’ a Kenyan influencer told ISS researchers investigating digital influence operations during elections. This seminar launches the study of Kenya’s August 2022 elections, which shows that while social media encourages freedom of expression, it provides a lucrative marketplace for influence and disinformation.

Some influence entrepreneurs used their networks to support politicians, push conspiracy theories and undermine democratic institutions. Others boasted about being banned by a social media platform ‘at least six times.’ What lessons are there for other African countries and South Africa in particular, ahead of its 2024 national polls?

Ferial Haffajee, South African Information, Misinformation and Disinformation Editor


  • Karen Allen, Consultant, ISS Pretoria
  • Jean le Roux, Consultant, ISS Pretoria and Research Associate, Digital Forensic Research Lab
  • Allan Cheboi, Senior Investigations Manager, Code for Africa, Kenya
Development partners
The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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