Digital Diplomacy in Africa – a discussion with authors in SAJIA’s special issue
‘Digital diplomacy’, also referred to as virtual diplomacy, e-diplomacy, and cyber diplomacy, is the intersection of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and diplomatic practice. In the 21st century, digital diplomacy has grown to become a major interdisciplinary area for both diplomatic practitioners and academics. ICTs have been embedded into all aspects of diplomacy: relations between states, public relations and soft power, provision of consular services and the management of information and data.
However, this phenomenon is understudied in Africa. To address this research gap, the South African Journal of International Affairs (SAJIA) has developed a special issue around the concept and practice of digital diplomacy from an African perspective, to underscore the implications of the changing nature of diplomacy on the continent.
The editors hope that this special issue will ignite an interest in digital diplomacy in Africa among both academics and diplomats, resulting in the development of new policies and strategies on the continent. Given that this issue was conceptualised and produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, it also includes the latest developments and analysis on how African states had to fast-track the digitalisation of their diplomatic practices as the whole world was forced to start conducting most activities online.
Please join the editors of the SAJIA special issue on digital diplomacy in Africa, as well as author Dr Ilan Manor, for this pre-launch event.