Beyond Elections: Making accountability work

We’re closing, in part, on this note:

Since the late 1980s, the number of elected governments in Africa has increased dramatically. Elections are now the norm on the continent, and citizens are using both traditional and new media to exert pressure for continuing reform and accountability. What tools and institutions are complementing elections to strengthen democracy and promote peacebuilding? How are communication technologies creating new platforms for citizen voices and government accountability?

One wonders whether rigged elections (Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda) also count in the dramatic increase in elected governments. Just asking.

Africa’s place in the digital age

Today’s conversation is about the much touted fibre optic cables that are connecting the last unconnected coastline in the world: The East African Coastline. The crux of the session is summarised as:

In 2009, the completion of several undersea fibre-optic cables connected Africa to cheaper and faster Internet access. The rapid expansion of broadband in Africa offers tremendous new opportunities for economic growth and social innovation. How is access to digital technologies and the Web shaping African business, government, and society? What are the risks and rewards of expanding broadband access?

Will report back on any takeaways from the session. Otherwise, the current speaker (Marc Giget, Professor and Chair of Technology and Innovation, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), France) is doing his thing in French, and I’m French-deficient.