The role of social media in strengthening civic engagement in the Middle East and North Africa, Prof. Allam Ahmed and Omer Gibreel
Prof. Allam Ahmed
Middle Eastern Knowledge Economy Institute (MEKEI), London
Faculty of Administrative Sciences
National University - Sudan, Khartoum
Republic of Sudan
Purpose: This article explores the current trends in civic engagement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after a decade of social media growth in the region.
Design/methodology/approach: The methodology is based on a case studies approach. In these case studies, the authors use an exploratory approach to case study research. The authors employ a mixed-method approach to exploring the development of civic engagement in the MENA region.
Findings: The study’s finding shows that the MENA region's social media growth has enabled digital natives to play a vital role in enriching and empowering their communities and their lives.
Research limitations/implications: The paper could have explored more examples from around the MENA region.
Practical implications: The paper's practical significance is the understanding that the ground is shifting around Internet access and how digital natives in the MENA region are employing it for their civic engagement initiative. It is an important indication that the MENA region's next innovation could be in the civic engagement arena. Unlike their parents, who are digital immigrants, these young and energetic digital natives are out to shape all aspects of their lives. Paving the way for more innovative and creative ways of civic engagement in the MENA region.
Originality/value: The paper explores civic engagement development in the MENA region, shedding light on the issues concerning MENA region youth such as cleaning the environment, waste and food recycling, combating extremism, developing education curricula and even promoting peace. The paper's value is that it gives an update on civic engagement in the MENA region.
Keywords: Civic engagement; Youth; Social media; MENA; Sudan; Kuwait; Bahrain; Egypt.
Citation: Ahmed, A. and Gibreel, O. (2021), "The role of social media in strengthening civic engagement in the Middle East and North Africa", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 309-317. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJEMSD-02-2021-0020