Cyber diplomacy and Africa’s digital development

The continent stands to gain from leveraging its demographic position as a source and marketplace for future technology.

Cyber diplomacy is the recognition that cyberspace is an environment in which digital superpowers and their proxies can project power and influence. African states must scale up their engagement to articulate clearly the continent’s priorities. These priorities include driving rapid digitisation and ensuring they have the people, processes and skills to achieve the African Union’s development objectives. The continent has much to gain from leveraging its demographic position as both a source of and a marketplace for future technology.

About the author

Karen Allen, who has a Master’s degree in international relations and contemporary war from King’s College London, is a Consultant at the ISS in Pretoria. She joined the ISS in June 2019 as senior research advisor: emerging threats in Africa, in the office of the executive director. She is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

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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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