This ground-breaking volume examines enduring and emerging discourses around communication rights in Africa, arguing that they should be considered an integral component of the human rights discourse in Africa.
Drawing on a broad range of case studies across the continent, the volume considers what constitutes communication rights in Africa, who should protect them, against whom, and how communication rights relate to broader human rights. While the case studies highlight the variation in communicative rights experiences between countries, they also coalesce around common tropes and practices for the implementation and expression of communication rights. Deploying a variety of innovative theoretical and methodological approaches, the chapters scrutinise different facets of communication rights in the context of both offline and digital communication realities. The contributions provide illuminating accounts on language rights, digital exclusion, digital activism, citizen journalism, media regulation and censorship, protection of intellectual property rights, politics of mobile data, and politicisation of social media.
This is the first collection to consider communication in Africa using a rights-based lens. The book will appeal to researchers, academics, communication activists, and media practitioners at all levels in the fields of media studies, journalism, human rights, political science, public policy, as well as general readers who are keen to know about the status of communication rights in Africa.
Introduction: Communication Rights in Africa: Theoretical and Practical Considerations
Tendai Chari and Ufuoma Akpojivi
Part I: Cultural and Minority Rights
Chapter I: Language-Cultural Barrier in Ubang Community: A Critical Assessment of the Communication Rights of Women and the Girl-Child
Chapter 2: Silicon Savannah or Digitising Marginalisation? A Reflection of Kenya’s Government Digitization Policies, Strategies and Projects
Chapter 3: Please do not call it human right: a Southern Epistemological perspective on the digital inclusion of people with disabilities in South Africa
Chapter 4: The Interdependence of Communication, Political, and Socio-Economic Rights: Examining the Lived Experiences of Digitally Marginalised Netizens Before and During the COVID-19 Lockdown in Lagos State, Nigeria.
Part II: Digital Citizenship
Chapter 5: Cabo Delgado Também é Moçambique: The Paths of Youth Digital Activism in a Restrictive Context
Chapter 6: Citizen journalism and the entrenchment of communication rights in Zimbabwe
Ernest Mudzengi and Wellington Gadzikwa
Part III: Freedom, Censorship and Intellectual Property Rights
Chapter 7: ‘The right to tell my story as I please’: Regulation and self-censorship in the Nigerian film industry
Chapter 8: A critical review of intellectual property rights: The case of Nigeria
Chapter 9: Internet shutdowns in semi-authoritarian regimes: The case of Cameroon
Peter Tiako Ngangum
Chapter 10: Fake news versus Freedom of expression: Legislating media trademarks infringements on Social Media Platforms in Kenya and South Africa
Part IV: Politics of Digital Infrastructures
Chapter 11: Politics of Digital Infrastructures in the Global South: The Case of #DataMustFall Campaign in South Africa
Chapter 12: Silence and Silent the SóróSoké Generation: The Politicisation of Social Media in Nigeria
Impressively, the case studies collected in this book come from West, Central, East, and Southern Africa. They insightfully and innovatively cover the pivotal issue of communications rights from diverse perspectives – from digital inclusion and communication rights of marginalised communities to ordinary citizens’ battles with Internet shutdowns and the struggles to legislate intellectual property rights in contexts of digitalisation. In putting together this book, Tendai Chari and Ufuoma Akpojivi have given students, researchers, policymakers, media professionals, and rights activists a must-have and must-read piece of work.
Dr Teke Ngomba, Associate Professor of Media Studies Aarhus University, Denmark
In this edited collection, Tendai Chari and Ufuoma Akpojivi assemble an array of engaging and thought-provoking case studies related to communication rights in Africa. The book will be a valuable reference point for those concerned with understanding and furthering communication rights in the African context and beyond.
Dr Giles Moss, Associate Professor in Media and Politics, School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, United Kingdom