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Securing Africa’s ‘Mobile Revolution’: policing, cybercrime, and the politi...

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The Open University

Walton Hall

Milton Keynes

MK7 6AA

United Kingdom

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Abstract:

This paper explores the relationship between increased digital connectivity and security in Tanzania. Whilst the expansion of access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) in Africa and other parts of the Global South has led to a large amount of research investigating its developmental potential, under the label ‘ICT4D’, the security implications of Africa’s ‘mobile revolution’ have received very little attention. Based on recent research conducted in urban Tanzania, this paper firstly explores how security providers construct and act upon narratives of cyber security in relation to the broader politics of development in Tanzania, whereby accusations of ‘cybercrime’ have been used as a means to stifle political dissent. Secondly, the paper considers cyber security ‘from below’, outlining how citizens use their phones in the interests of safety, the impact of new technologies on local policing, and the everyday risks and challenges that emerge from phone and internet use.

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Charlotte joined the Open University as a Lecturer in International Development in 2016, having previously lectured at the University of Northampton. Her research concerns politics, security and development in Africa and in particular the role of ‘informal’ institutions in local governance, the politics of development, and the policing of political and economic change.

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The Open University

Walton Hall

Milton Keynes

MK7 6AA

United Kingdom

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