Partnership between Wits African Centre for the Study of the US (ACSUS) and GGA


With the global rise of the digital economy, Africa has become a playground for the US and China, respectively the first and second largest economies in the world by GDP. Over the past couple of years, the global competition between the two powers has played out on the African continent. In recent years, this has taken the form of heightened competition, the rolling out of policy and investment strategies by the two powers. From 2018 onwards, the trade war between the US and China was most prominent in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector with African nations caught between the two powers. While analyses have for the most part taken the form of what the implications of US and Chinese would respectively mean for Africa, little has been analysed from an African point of view.

It is with an Afrocentric lens on US and Chinese ICT strategies and investments towards Africa that this special issue of Africa in Fact is proposed. The objective is to contribute information and knowledge on how Africans view the competing approaches of these global powers, thereby providing pathways for Africa’s own strategies.


• Africa in Fact, Issue No 62 – US/China Digital Competition in Africa: Diplomacy, Infrastructure, Surveillance, and Policies
• Webinar – promotion around AIF Issue No 62 – panel of contributors/experts – facilitated in conjunction with Mail & Guardian
• Social Media – pre-promotion of AIF Issue No 62 last week June, plus on-going weekly posts across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter platforms
• Online media – GGA website, GGA newsletters, ACSUS website
• The Africa Governance Papers – extrapolation of the AIF articles into 7500-word chapters for GGA’s academic, peer-reviewed journal

The following topics will be covered:-

• State and non-state perspectives
• Soft power and digital diplomacy
• Telecommunications and ICT infrastructure, including mobile telephony hardware
• Financial technology and e-commerce
• Digital media, including video streaming
• Surveillance
• Smart and safe cities
• Legal and regulatory mechanisms, and frameworks


• Formulation of AIF No 62 broad diary outline – March 15
• First copy deadline – May 6
• Final copy deadline – May 31
• Sub-edit and typesetting – May 15 to June 10
• Final edit – June 30
• Publication – July 1
• Webinar – mid July – date to be confirmed


AIF Issue No 62Contributors (including co-editor), layout and design, typesetting, final PDF, plus online and social media marketing support.  Contributors to be paid R7/word based on 1200-word articles (R8400 each), and co-editor fee R22 500.R235 000.00 – GGA funding
AIF Issue No 62Print x 750 copiesR45 000 – ACSUS funding
WebinarLIVE webinar panel discussion and presentation of the AIF Issue by a selected panel of contributors/editors, Q&A session with audience participation – value R126 700R40 000 – ACSUS funding
The Africa Governance PapersAIF Articles to be extrapolated into 7500-word chapters for the GGA academic, peer-reviewed journalNo funding required