Dr Laura Elizabeth Mann

 Dr Laura Elizabeth Mann

Laura's research focuses on the construction and evolution of markets and value chains in Africa and on how technology feeds into wider communicative and cognitive infrastructures within economies.


Laura Mann's research focuses on the political economy of markets and value chains in Africa. She received her Masters and PhD from the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh and her BSc in Environmental Policy and Economics from the London School of Economics. Her PhD examined the impact of tertiary education expansion and economic liberalization on trust relations and the flow of information between managers, job-seekers and civil servants in the Sudanese labour market.

Her current research examines the effects of broadband internet on the tea, tourism and outsourcing value chains of Kenya and Rwanda. In this project, she is particularly interested in how internet connectivity might be re-wiring the back offices and altering the labour practices of East African companies and governments. She is also developing a project examining how new technologies and datasets are changing the way economists and other social scientists understand informal economies in Egypt and Uganda.

She blogs at: http://lauraelizabethmann.com/blog/

Research interests

economic and political sociology, the political economy of development, ICT4D and the role of technology in intermediating economic and political relations, trust and social networks

Positions held at the OII

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, October 2011 - December 2013


Past projects

  • Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa

    September 2011 - August 2014

    By using surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, this project examined the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa and compared those expectations to on-the-ground effects that broadband connectivity is having.




  • Mann, L. (2009) Breeze from an Open Door: Foreign Spirits, National Bodies and the Potential for Egyptian Imaginative Resistance. In: C.Baker (ed.) Expressions of the Body: Representations in African Text and Image. Oxford: Peter Lang.