Compared to Germany, many government officials in developing countriesare embracing social media as a means to listen and engage in conversation with their citizens. In particular in countries with weak institutions, new forms of digital media for governance are promising alternatives. For instance, in August 2013 the Kenyan government announced plans to monitor conversations, views and issues, expressed via social networks to make needs based policy decisions.
Governments wanting to understand their citizens seem like a great idea. However, such developments are not without risk: Whilst social media may be tools for liberation and more direct forms of democratic interaction; they may well also be part of architecture for control. And in developing contexts, how will the voices of those not connected to the Internet be heard?
The IT Minister from Rwanda, the Policy Director of the Centre for Internet&Societyand the State Secretary of the BMZ will discuss the chances and limitations of social media for governance and will debate government usage and political culture between Germany, Rwanda and India.
This session is part of the GLOBAL INNOVATION GATHERING programme.
- Policy Director / A2K Fellow