Welcome to the Geonet project

The GEONET project at the Oxford Internet Institute investigates the geographies, drivers, and effects of Sub-Saharan Africa’s emerging ‘information economies.’ It asks whether these economies represent a new era of development, and how information and communication technologies impact on older processes of dependence, underdevelopment, and economic extraversion.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has traditionally been characterised by stark barriers to telecommunication and flows of information. Rates for long distance phone calls throughout Sub-Saharan Africa used to be some of the highest in the world. Internet costs and speeds similarly were out of the reach of all but the most privileged citizens. However, in the last few years, there have been radical changes to SSA’s international connectivity. Fibre-optic cables have been laid throughout the continent and there are now about one hundred million Internet users and over seven hundred million mobile users in the region.

This rapid transformation in the region’s connectivity has encouraged politicians, journalists, academics, and citizens to speak of an ICT-fuelled economic revolution happening on the continent. However, while much research has been conducted into the impacts of ICTs on older economic processes and practices, there remains surprisingly little research into the emergence of a new informationalised economy in Africa. It is now that we need empirical research to understand precisely what impacts are observable, who benefits, and how these changes match up to our expectations for change.

Latest Blog Posts from the Geonet Project

Conference attendees

Digital | Economy | Africa – a year on, the ‘Digital’ is as important as ever!

A year ago, we had the pleasure and privilege of convening the Digital | Economy | Africa Conference at the ...
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Digital Labour at Economic Margins: African Workers and the Global Information Economy. (Forthcoming Publication)

Digital Labour at Economic Margins: African Workers and the Global Information Economy. (Forthcoming Publication)

I have a new publication coming out soon in the Review of African Political Economy, with my colleague Mark Graham ...
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Hidden Transcripts of the Gig Economy: Labour Agency and the New Art of Resistance among African Gig Workers. (New Publication)

Hidden Transcripts of the Gig Economy: Labour Agency and the New Art of Resistance among African Gig Workers. (New Publication)

I have a new publication out with my colleague Amir Anwar that draws on the years of research we have ...
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Call for papers: Digital Work in the Planetary Market (AAG 2020)

Call for papers: Digital Work in the Planetary Market (AAG 2020)

Call for papers: Digital Work in the Planetary Market Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers Denver, Colorado April ...
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Coming soon... The Gig Economy A Critical Introduction

Coming soon… The Gig Economy A Critical Introduction

I’m very happy to announce the first sharable details about my new forthcoming book (co-authored with Jamie Woodcock). The book ...
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Society and the Internet: How Networks of Information and Communication are Changing Our Lives (second edition) now out!

Society and the Internet: How Networks of Information and Communication are Changing Our Lives (second edition) now out!

I’m thrilled to announce that the second edition of Society and the Internet is now out!! The book has been ...
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Background to the GeoNet Project

Introducing Geonet

Geonet publications

Mapping

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Funding

This is a five-year project, funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant.

LOGO-ERC

Horizon2020