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Digital Technologies, Online Engagement and Parliament-Citizen Relations in Nigeria and South Africa

  • Temitayo Isaac Odeyemi
  • Tunde Abioro
Chapter
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)

Abstract

As an institution of governance, the parliament is the soul of democratic societies. The parliament typifies the presence of the people in the running of governmental activity. It monitors the actions of public officials towards ensuring adherence to initiatives and measures that advance the people’s well-being. Relations between parliamentarians and citizens are, thus, critical on two fronts. Parliament – citizen relations are important in ensuring that elected parliamentarians are responsive to the desires of their constituents; and enable the people to hold their elected representatives accountable. In bridging communication gaps between the people and lawmakers, the Internet, social media and mobile phones, as digital technologies, have prospects in enabling the desired level of citizen engagement critical to democratic practice. This chapter explores, in comparative terms, the use of digital technologies by the national parliaments in Africa’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa. It examines the extent to which digital technologies are used in facilitating parliament – citizen relations in the two countries and how this connects with citizens’ demands of accountability on national parliaments, and links between elected representatives and their constituents. The paper draws on data obtained through measurement of the online resources, especially websites and social media pages, of the parliaments. The chapter contributes to frameworks on how digital technologies can enhance parliament – citizen relations and good governance in sub-Saharan Africa.

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors acknowledge the contributions of Omomayowa Olawale Abati to data gathering.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Temitayo Isaac Odeyemi
    • 1
  • Tunde Abioro
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Local Government StudiesObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria

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