The China-US digital competition in Africa and other current issues in African governance

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Richard Bartholomew Jurgens


TAGP is an independent academic peer-reviewed journal published by Good Governance Africa (GGA). TAGP aims to support and develop the organisation’s internal research capabilities by providing its researchers with opportunities to publish peer-reviewed research and work on governance issues by upcoming and established researchers from across Africa. Early-career researchers are offered the experience of a rigorous and demanding peer review and revision process that contributes significantly to their ability to carry out quality research and to prepare work for publication in other academic journals. Established researchers are offered a platform for exploring themes in their ongoing research that apply particularly appropriately to informing governance performance in Africa.

TAGP does not publish issues focusing exclusively on specific themes at present, though we have some exciting plans for particular themes in the future.

This issue features several articles on the implications of the competition between China and the US for digital influence in Africa. Tyler Venske highlights key hurdles to Africa’s digital independence. Cliff Mboya examines the implications of the rivalry for African countries’ foreign policy postures, applying rational choice theory to a study of “an emerging strategy of agency in Kenya”. Thomas Lethoba examines the “US-China standoff over digital supremacy in Africa” in a media context and finds evidence of bias on both sides. Amodani Gariba finds that African autocracies are exploiting China’s model of the internet to roll back democratic gains through surveillance and censorship of civil liberties.

GGA colleagues Pranish Desai and Dr Ross Harvey use an econometric model to show that the SADC is suffering a statistically significant trend in deindustrialisation when compared with other African regions and proposes adjustments to the current SADC Industrialisation Strategy (2015-2063). Terence Corrigan discusses Dr Christine Hobden’s Citizenship in a Globalised World (2022), which adopts a “broadly liberal” approach with the individual as the basic unit of analysis but develops a theory of citizenship as “the construction of societal collectives and their moral obligations”.

Professor David Benatar, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, contributes an extended review essay on Dr Max Price’s recent book, Statues and Storms: Leading Through Change (2023), a memoir of the author’s experiences as vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, focusing mainly on the “Fallist protests” from early 2015 until the end of 2016. Finally, Sara Houmada, with the African Peer Review Mechanism Continental Secretariat, discusses the African Union’s review of its First Ten-Year Implementation Plan (FTYIP) in support of Agenda 2063 and argues that many of the challenges faced by African countries in addressing Agenda 2063’s challenges could be positively influenced by a focused and conscious adoption of the social contract model of governance around the continent.

To conclude, this issue provides a range of research and research-based arguments in several areas that demonstrate TAGP’s commitment to depth and breadth in pursuing research on governance. With growing interest and support from our widening circle of academic researchers, the journal aims to build on this approach even further in coming issues.




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How to Cite
Jurgens, R. B. (2023). The China-US digital competition in Africa and other current issues in African governance. The Africa Governance Papers, 1(4). Retrieved from
Author Biography

Richard Bartholomew Jurgens




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