The DigitalTransport4Africa (DT4A) Webinar Series is a monthly webinar organized by WRI Africa and Global with DT4A consortium partners. The goal of the series is to facilitate knowledge exchange around public transport and data initiatives taking place in African cities and beyond, especially those undertaken by the consortium partners.
This webinar explores students’ digital practices as they navigate their daily mobility using mobile phones in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital city is currently experiencing a digital transformation, characterized by increasing mobile adoption, growing social media significance, and widespread mobile app usage, all of which reshape behaviors within a significant urban population. Qualitative interviews were conducted with fifty-two students from various faculties at the public University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN) to uncover the role of digital tools in supporting students’ daily planning strategy amid challenges such as unreliable transport and urban insecurity. Findings demonstrate low adoption of navigation and transportation mobile apps among students, while social media indirectly influences their daily mobility patterns and safety perception. Overall, the prevailing insecurity and travel challenges prompt students to exhibit paradoxical behaviors, fostering resourceful alternative mobility approaches that do not always incorporate digital tools—thereby underscoring the intricate relationship between security, transportation, and technology.
This webinar is primarily intended for researchers working on the adoption of digital technologies in mobility practices. It is also aimed at digital service providers, enabling them to better align their services for greater adoption, as well as institutional and international actors who could benefit from this presentation to adjust public transportation policies.