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Interactive radio, social network sites and development in Africa: a literature review study

Marcos Komodromos (Department of Communications, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 5 April 2021




The technology determinism theory facilitated in assessing the impact of interactive radio and social network sites (SNSs) on development factors such as education, agriculture, health, and governance, by conducting an integrative and comprehensive literature review focusing on African countries. This paper aims to conduct this literature review to provide comprehensive empirical evidence on the impact of interactive radio and SNSs on development in Africa.


This study examined articles that were retrieved from online databases including EBSCOhost, Elsevier, Science Direct, SAGE Journals, Springer and Wiley Online Library. The keywords used included interactive radio, radio, development in Africa, SNS, agriculture, education, health, peace and governance. Search phrases were formulated using boolean operators “AND” and “OR.”


Study results revealed that interactive radio and SNSs improve knowledge among farmers and allow the dissemination of information on innovative agricultural techniques, which supports the adoption of sustainable practices. Interactive radio promotes political accountability because the strategies provide the voiceless and powerless communities with a platform to express themselves. This paper discovers that the incorporation of SNS with existing multimedia communication facilitates the dissemination of health-related information on illnesses such as Ebola, HIV, hypertension, diabetes and Polio, and interactive radio and SNS promote education among marginalized communities and under-served rural schools.

Research limitations/implications

The findings on the impact of interactive radio and SNSs do not represent all 54 countries in Africa. Although the studies included in this literature review were conducted in several countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, this limited the generalizability of the findings and recommendations. Also, the other potential limitation is that using the inclusion-exclusion criteria could have resulted in bias when selecting the studies to include in the review.

Practical implications

The paper might serve as a valuable source of information for students, academics and entrepreneurs where the impact of interactive radio and SNSs on agriculture, education, health and governance, which are core determinants of development in Africa, has been assessed for further case studies in this area.

Social implications

The use of interactive radio has helped in decreasing health issues caused by a deficiency in vitamin A among children in sub-Saharan Africa.


The development of sustainable and effective interactive radio programs is dependent on the collaboration of the core stakeholders such as governmental ministries, donor organizations and the mass communication sector. Numerous open sources on technology radio stations are available to employ social media managers to help in the application of knowledge.



Komodromos, M. (2021), "Interactive radio, social network sites and development in Africa: a literature review study", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 282-295.



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