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Information Flow and Democratic Governance: An Analysis of the African Experience

Information Flow and Democratic Governance: An Analysis of the African Experience
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Author(s): F. A. Aremu (University of Ilorin, Nigeria) and H. T. Saka (University of Ilorin Library, Nigeria)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 10
Source title: Library and Information Science in Developing Countries: Contemporary Issues
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): A. Tella (University of Ilorin, Nigeria) and A.O. Issa (University of Ilorin, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-335-5.ch017

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Abstract

Information is the life-line of governance. This is particularly true with democratic political systems. Even undemocratic regimes require steady information flow to sustain their power base. Indeed, the effectiveness in the management of information flow distinguishes a functional political system from a dysfunctional one. With the emergence of new media in the information matrix, there has been a dramatic democratization of content development which had hitherto been the exclusive preserve of “experts” in the media arena. The expansion of space in content development and dissemination of information through the various internet-based mechanisms has proven to be a double-edged sword: a force for popular mobilization and participation in the governance process and a source of destabilization. Depending on the political system in question, information science and technology is exerting tremendous influence in the governance arena. This chapter examines the unfolding dynamics in Information Science and Technology and its place in the democratization of the governance process in Africa. It dwells on the changing contexts of information content development besides engaging the core conceptual issues. It also explores the nexus between the “democratization of information content development” and democratic consolidation in Africa.

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