This Post First Appeared On Real Gist Passion Blog...............
Africa has come a long way with regards to democracy but unlike in the West where the practice is firmly rooted, the process is not as free, fair and inclusive on the black continent. For many who find themselves shut out of the physical political space, the internet provides a pressure valve for the outlet of emotions and opinions.
The social media revolution is gathering steam across the continent and the political bigwigs have not failed to notice. The general response has been to take out the threat and shutdown the internet altogether.
With the rise of a platform which gives voice to anyone with a mobile phone and data, they see their vicelike grip on the patrimonial, prebendal political process which rewards only themselves and their cronies under threat. Governments in Congo, Chad, Uganda, Gambia and Ghana have blocked access to the internet during elections.
The Nigerian legislature tried to sneak in a somewhat similar measure through the backdoor but the Social Media Bill as it came to be known received a lot of public backlash and the politicians had to back down.
We're still two and a half years away from the next general elections but the posturing and horse trading is already in full flow and the stakes are the highest they've ever been. With the internet playing an increasingly pivotal role in shaping the African political sphere via social media, how long before the political gladiators decide to take out this people-driven monster that threatens their gilded dominance?