Keynote: Nanjala Nyabola

Nanjala Nyabola

March 24, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
Kaldalón Auditorium

Nanjala has published a substantial body of work spanning academic research, books and articles. A key theme is the effect that technology is having upon politics — in her home country of Kenya, but also across Africa and indeed globally, with a look at the recent electoral and political upheaval in the UK and US.

Many millions of words have been written on Trump and Brexit, but what perhaps makes Nanjala’s analysis different is that it comes from a Kenyan perspective. She’s uniquely well-placed to achieve her stated aim, to “upend the flawed logic that technology trends only impact the West”.

Nanjala argues that digital technologies can’t solve embedded issues such as the social divide, and that in fact technology may be amplifying societal ills such as hate speech and echo chambers. Her book Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya was hailed as “one of the few studies of social media that goes beyond the digital sphere to provide in-depth social, political, and historic context”.

Meanwhile, her articles have informed international debate across the Financial Times, the Guardian, the New Internationalist, the BBC World Service, Al Jazeera and many more.