Social Media in Africa

A Double-Edged Sword for Security and Development: Research Brief

Published in: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Centre for Africa (November 2018)

Posted on RAND.org on November 05, 2018

by Kate Cox, William Marcellino, Jacopo Bellasio, Antonia Ward, Katerina Galai, Arya Sofia Meranto, Giacomo Persi Paoli

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) commissioned RAND Europe to explore social media use and its links to online radicalisation in Africa. The use of social media by three Islamist terrorist groups based in Africa — al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and ISIL — was analysed across seven countries: Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. To get to the heart of the issue, the study, conducted in late 2017 and early 2018, drew on three research methods: a structured literature review, key informant interviews and Twitter data analysis.

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