Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. International Development Seminars
  3. Securing Africa’s ‘Mobile Revolution’: policing, cybercrime, and the politics of development in Tanzania

Securing Africa’s ‘Mobile Revolution’: policing, cybercrime, and the politics of development in Tanzania

Wed, 14 February 2018, 12:00 to 14:00

The Open University, MK : Betty Boothroyd Library, Seminar Room 4 (Second floor)

Lunch 1200-1230 - Discussion and presentation 1230-1400

Speaker: Dr Charlotte Cross, Lecurer in International Development and Inclusive Innovation Development Policy and Practice, FASS


This paper explores the relationship between increased digital connectivity and security in Tanzania. Whilst the expansion of access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) in Africa and other parts of the Global South has led to a large amount of research investigating its developmental potential, under the label ‘ICT4D’, the security implications of Africa’s ‘mobile revolution’ have received very little attention. Based on recent research conducted in urban Tanzania, this paper firstly explores how security providers construct and act upon narratives of cyber security in relation to the broader politics of development in Tanzania, whereby accusations of ‘cybercrime’ have been used as a means to stifle political dissent. Secondly, the paper considers cyber security ‘from below’, outlining how citizens use their phones in the interests of safety, the impact of new technologies on local policing, and the everyday risks and challenges that emerge from phone and internet use.


Charlotte joined the Open University as a Lecturer in International Development in 2016, having previously lectured at the University of Northampton. Her research concerns politics, security and development in Africa and in particular the role of ‘informal’ institutions in local governance, the politics of development, and the policing of political and economic change.

Please register to attend :


Share this page:

Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502