Development Communication and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa: Analyzing Media’s Impact on Governance and Political Participation
Ephraim Okoro, PhD

A number of mass media scholars observe that development communication has taken new directions since the beginning of the twenty-first century, and they are reconceptualizing a range of variables associated with development, including interdependence between media and politics, new media and diffusion of innovation, and sustainability of political development, communication ethics and its impact on democratization, re-examination of media objectivity, role of the media in disseminating information, and agenda-setting process for effective citizens’ participation in the political process. This reconceptualization is increasingly attracting the interest of academics, practitioners, and independent consultants around the world, which is leading to a rethinking of current media perspectives and theoretical frameworks guiding development communication debates. With increasing globalization and nations of the world have become interconnected because of global markets and investments, it is important that countries understand one another’s need for development communication to ensure continuing growth and sustainability. Recent media studies have traced the slow growth of political development to a lack of development communication, inadequate strategic communication skills, unwillingness of citizens to engage in democratic debates, and unawareness of the consequences of political apathy. This chapter is focused on development communication contexts, issues, and theoretical frameworks in sub-Saharan Africa. It then provides conclusion and recommendations for effective utilization of development communication to enhance political participation, generate a keen interest in the political process, and ultimately increase the quality of national governance.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v6n2a19