Elections may benefit from media platforms - CNBC Africa

Elections may benefit from media platforms

Southern Africa

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“Well I think for Zimbabwe, similar to the case in the Arab spring, when there are less spaces for political debate, a lot of the time, citizens will take social media because it is a place where people can discuss and speak about their opinions,” Wu, a researcher with SAIIA's Global Powers and Africa Programme told CNBC Africa on Thursday.

Social media plays a part in providing information as well as providing citizens with the ability to engage politically with one another.

There are three mobile networks in Zimbabwe, namely: Econet, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe and Budde.com reported that the estimated mobile penetration rate for Zimbabwe will be 114 per cent by the end of 2013.

Wu said that the recent upsurge in mobile penetration will see the youth as the main benefactors of the social media revelation.

“We talk a lot about the youth demographic, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation talked about how the average leader in Africa is 63 but the average youth is 19. Other studies talk about how by 2015 the median age in Africa is 25 – that isn’t a big gap,” she said.

“When you take these two trends and put them together, what we’re realising is, sooner or later as technology increases and we have a rising consumer market, its increasingly going to be young people who are using this technology.”