Friday, March 8, 2013

China, South Africa and Social Media

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) published in January 2013 an analysis titled "The Role of Public Sentiment and Social Media in the Evolving China-Africa Relationship" by Yu-Shan Wu, an assistant researcher at SAIIA.  The title is misleading in that the focus is almost exclusively the relationship with South Africa.  The analysis is stronger on the social media situation in China than in Africa.  Nevertheless, this is one of the few studies that has looked at social media in the China-Africa context.

The author notes that social media is changing Chinese and African society, where the youth are at the forefront of media communication technology.  In the case of South Africa, social media have not been utilized widely by the leadership to engage the public.  Africa is moving ahead faster than China in making use of new communication technology.  In spite of this trend, South Africa demonstrates the limits of social media on the decision making process.   

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