Bibliometric Analysis of Cyber Warfare Research in Africa: Landscape and Trends


  • Jabu Mtsweni Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Mphahlela Thaba Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa



Cyber security, Cyber warfare, Cyber operations, Cyber defence, Cyber attacks, Information warfare


As the digital landscape continues to evolve, cyber warfare has emerged as a prominent domain of warfare, with superpower nations actively demonstrating their capabilities in the cyberspace. This study posits that African countries exhibit a relative lag in research and development of cyber warfare capabilities, as evidenced by the absence of African nations in the National Cyber Power Index released by the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs in 2022. To address this knowledge gap, this paper presents a comprehensive bibliometric analysis of cyber warfare research and development within the African continent. The analysis aims to illuminate research productivity, performance, science mapping, and key contributors at both national and institutional levels. It seeks to uncover thematic trends, pinpoint key research areas, and identify research connections within the African context. This research evaluates the African continent's research participation and development in the cyber and/or information warfare domain over the past 23 years. The analysis encompasses scholarly articles and conference proceedings published between 2000 and 2023, utilizing Scopus as the primary data source. Preliminary findings suggest that cyber warfare research in Africa is concentrated in a limited number of countries, with South Africa emerging as the leading contributor. A comparative analysis further reveals that developed countries generally outpace African nations in cyber warfare research and development, corroborating the rankings presented in the National Cyber Power Index (NCPI) and Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI).