May had a number of digital rights themed international days including World Password Day, World Press Freedom Day, and World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. AIRA members hosted webinars to commemorate these days, and shared tools and studies aligned to these commemorations. Find out more about these and other activities below:
1) Paradigm Initiative hosted its final in-person DRIF 22 sessions that addressed crucial digital rights issues: In Gambia, the session created awareness about the country's new Data Protection and Privacy law, and what how to ensure alignment with international standards. The Malawi session was a multi-stakeholder dialogue that discussed key challenges to Internet access and the high cost of internet. In Angola, the session analysed digital inclusion in Angola with practical strategies to increase access and guarantee the enjoyment of digital rights. The other sessions were in Cameroon, Tanzania, South-Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Kenya discussing how to build a digitally inclusive and rights-respecting Africa. A replay of the sessions (virtual and in-person) can be found here.
2) Paradigm Initiative on 20thMay officially concluded DRIF22 in Kenya by officially launching the 2021 Annual Digital Rights and Inclusion Report – Londa. The 2021 Londa report captures the gaps and proffers recommendations to achieve a digitally inclusive and rights-respecting Africa. The report is on 22 countries, examining themes of privacy, freedom of expression, access to information, accessibility, gender and others. Access the report here.
Paradigm Initiative in collaboration with CIPESA, POLLICY and other partners will be part of the report launch 'Understanding Gender-Based Violence Online in Southern Africa.' The report highlights the need for collaboration in systematically addressing #OGBV. To attend, sign up here.
Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa - CIPESA
1) CIPESA took part in the Africa Media Convention to mark World Press Freedom Day in Tanzania. Participants discussed a number of issues related to the global theme: Journalism Under Digital Siege. This year’s theme spotlights key issues such as surveillance, impact journalism, freedom of expression, and privacy in Africa. The convention also featured a training session by Google on the use of technology to safeguard freedom of the media in Africa.
2) CIPESA alongside Global Partners Digital (GPD), the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria (CHR), Article 19 West Africa, and PROTEGE QV jointly launched a new interactive tool that helps human rights defenders across the Sub-Saharan region to track problematic laws and policies against online disinformation. The tool is called LEXOTA—Laws on Expression Online: Tracker and Analysis. LEXOTA offers a comprehensive overview of laws, policies and other government actions on disinformation in every country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read about and access the tool here.
3) CIPESA conducted a study on Data Governance in 5 African countries and are releasing a new series of reports on data governance on the continent based on the study. The Ghana report is on Data Governance and Public Trust; looking at how low levels of trust in public institutions have impacted data collection programs in Ghana. The report on COVID-19 and digital rights in Uganda reveals that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a blow to the enjoyment of digital rights, particularly impacting citizens and protection of their personal data. Read the report here. Generally, across Africa, countries with Data Protection laws or regulations have grown from 8 in 2012 to 33 in 2022.
CIPESA, in collaboration with Paradigm Initiative, POLLICY and other partners will be part of the report launch 'Understanding Gender-Based Violence Online in Southern Africa.' The report highlights the need for collaboration in systematically addressing #OGBV. To attend, sign up here.
1) Grace Githaiga from KICTANet spoke at the Digital Access Program event hosted by International Telecommunication Union, British High Commission, and KICTANet in Kenya. She spoke about how to strengthen partnerships for effective connectivity and broader digital inclusion. She said with cyber security on the rise, jointly with partners, KICTANet are developing a cyber hygiene guidebook to enhance people's contribution to the ICT sector in a meaningful way.
2) KICTANet opened applications for fellows for the 7th Edition of the Kenya School of Internet Governance (KeSIG). KeSIG takes place prior to the Kenya Internet Governance Forum 2022, with the aim of introducing beginners in internet governance to basic concepts in internet policy making. See the program here.
- KICTANet is hosting a session at Rights Con: “Building Digitally Resilient Social Justice Organisations Post COVID-19” Session ID # 15364. The session is on Thursday 9th June 9:00 am – 10:00am EAT. Register here: http://rightscon.org/register-2022.
- The Kenya IGF Week 2022 shall run between 27th – 30th June 2022. The Kenya Internet Governance Forum (KIGF) is an annual meeting that brings together various stakeholder groups to dialogue on ICT and Internet policy. The events lined up include the Kenya Youth IGF, and the main Kenya IGF on 30th June 2022.
Article 19 Eastern Africa
1) ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa issued a statement condemning the Ugandan security forces’ arbitrary detention of former opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye at his house after he announced plans to mobilize protests over the soaring cost of living and the succession politics in the country. They called on the government of Uganda to uphold his rights to freedom of expression, protest and liberty. The Public Order Management Act (2013) must be amended – especially section 6, which gives security officers wide discretion to prohibit public gatherings and meetings – through a transparent and inclusive system that engages all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are protected and promoted in line with international standards. Read the statement here.
2) Article 19 Eastern Africa in partnership with MUHURI and the County Government of Mombasa held consultative meetings with civil society actors and members of the Youth, Gender and Sports Committee of the County Assembly to discuss the proposed Gender Mainstreaming Policy. If passed the policy will put programmatic, legislative, policy and administrative measures towards realization of gender equality and women empowerment in the county. The consultative meetings provided an opportunity for the stakeholders to give inputs to the draft policy.
- ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa will be launching its 2021 Digital Monitoring report in June 2022.
- ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa & UNESCO will be launching a report on content moderation in Kenya under our social media for peace project.
1) As a build-up to the 4th Privacy Symposium Africa, CIPIT in collaboration with Unwanted Witness have released a road-mad of activities leading up to Privacy Symposium Africa. They will organize a series of Pan-African privacy regional engagements in form of webinars. The first regional engagement is in South Africa on 24th June. Visit http://privacysymposiumafrica.com
2) The second edition of the Privacy Scorecard report will be generated by CIPIT and Unwanted Witness. The report will be unveiled at the 3-day Privacy Symposium in November 2022. The report notes that the most abused three privacy criteria, include: giving information to data subjects before collection of data (Rights of data subjects), mentioning third parties with whom data is shared and non-disclosure of how much data is provided to third parties including Government and law enforcement. Download the report here.
CIPIT will be hosting a session at RightsCon on Regulating AI in Africa: considerations for the present and future AI system. The session is on 7th June 2022 at 10:15 – 11:15 EAT. Register for the session here.
1) BudgIT participated in a session - “Tracking Progress in real time: how citizen action can help achieve SDGs”. The session explored how our organisations support citizens across Africa & Asia to check how local services are working. The session emphasized that using tech, citizens can ensure services are delivered as promised in collaboration with those responsible. Tools such as Development Check and Tracka, and the power of citizen action is essential the journey to achieving the SDGs. Watch the session and others under this program here.
2) As part of Open Government week, BudgIT hosted a session on Advancing Primary Health in Africa through Open Government Practices. The session was focused on learning from the experiences of CSOs in 9 African countries on how to leverage Open Government Practices to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration and improve the delivery of primary healthcare services. BudgIT also conducted a training of LANet members from 16 regions on utilizing fact-checked media and Technology tools to enhance accountability and open Governance.
Activities in July:
As part of the Value of a Vote campaign, BudgIT is currently assisting citizens in Yaba, a suburb located in Lagos, Nigeria. and its environs to complete their Continuous Voter Registration exercise online. The exercise will conclude over the next few weeks.
Legal Resources Centre
1) LRC attorney Devon Turner gave a presentation on LRC’s case on digital literacy during the last day of the Human Rights Defender Training conducted by Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA). The training hosted lawyer human rights defenders (HRDs) at a training titled 'Training of Lawyer Human Rights Defenders on Rights Protection. The training provided lawyer HRDs with skills to litigate, protect & promote rights under the ARISA thematic areas using national courts, regional & international human rights mechanisms & other forums.
LRC will release a research report on digital rights and the right to education.
1) POLLICY in partnership with Uganda Christian University (UCU) guild launched the Digital Ambassadors Programme at the UCU main campus. The launch was attended by numerous students who got a chance to interact and learn about the program and how they can join it. Through this program, POLLICY seeks to equip young people in institutions of higher learning, with digital safety skills to take advantage of existing and future digital opportunities through active training, mentorship, convenings and networking. Read about the program here.
2) POLLICY executive director Neema Iyer was part of a panel on the Global Digital Development Forum. This panel explored practical examples of processes, policies, and approaches that enable empowered participation of women and girls in AI.
Pollicy is hosting DataFest Africa. From June 2nd to July 21st, 2022, the event will be a 6-day event with sessions held in multiple locations throughout Uganda as well as sessions held outside of Uganda in Tanzania and Nigeria. This year's theme is Data Futures: Big Data, Little Data, and Everything in Between. It is an annual festival that connects and explores opportunities for collaboration among data scientists, technologists, designers, government, civil society, business, and marketing. Data quality, data privacy, data management, data sharing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, business intelligence (BI), data visualization, and many other topics will be covered during this festival. Register to host a session here: bit.ly/3ySJkT3. or Reserve your free virtual/physical spot to participate here: https://t.co/LMMk0XsfyP here.
1) CcHUB/I-Hub introduced “VIABLE”, a one-of-a-kind community of EdTech product designers, developers and managers, instructional designers, pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, school leaders, and policymakers. The aim of this community is to spark critical, continuous engagement targeted at promoting innovation around education Technology in relation to the current trends and future possibilities of EdTech in Nigeria.
2) CcHub/I-Hub Co-creation Hub has been announced Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN) Regional Ambassador representing West Africa. The Regional Ambassadors Programme (RAP) in 2022 is a program aimed at strengthening regional connection and participation in the civic tech space. It grew out of CTIN’s intentions to function as a Pan-African Community of Practice (CoP) in response to ever-increasing interest from the wider African civic tech community, a testament to the need for a community for people in this space. Read about the program here.
3) Co-creation Hub hosted two (2) professional networking sessions in the Lagos, Nigeria office: (i) The International Association of Privacy Professionals KnowledgeNET Nigeria Chapter; IAPP is the largest privacy professional body in the world. Participants at the event range from legal, and compliance experts to data security professionals. (ii) Cryptocurrency and blockchain community for a globally celebrated Bitcoin Pizza Day 2022. The event celebrates the first transaction made using bitcoin in 2010 to buy physical goods, two large pizzas in this case. Bitcoin Pizza Day commemorates and celebrates a significant achievement, a test passed for the world's most important cryptocurrency.
- Co-creation Hub will be sending threat reports and advisory from the (CcHUB Security Command Center CSCC) starting from June 2022. A call for registration form will be shared: for all organizations In the CSO space that are willing to be added to the mailing list to fill.
- The Digital Security Team of Co-creation Hub will be giving a lightning talk on the threat landscape in Africa, at RightsCon 2022. Registration closes on 3rd June 2022 https://rightscon.summit.tc/
1) Amnesty International – Kenya released the latest episode of the Stripped-Down Podcast on youth and elections. Stripped Down is Amnesty International Kenya’s podcast that aims to demystify human rights issues by having simple but powerful conversations. This episode explored what it means to run as a young woman and an independent candidate. Listen to the episode here.
2) On World Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International – Kenya published an article; Technology Is a Double-Edged Sword; Media Should Adapt Quickly or Perish. The article looks at the intersection of technology and media and the importance of understanding technology for journalism. It states that technology is a double-edged sword that can be disruptive, transformative, or destructive. Media practitioners are urged to strive to understand emerging technologies to utilize them to process data and identify trends while identifying and responding to tech-generated deep fakes. Read more here.
Amnesty Kenya launched the Digital Disruptors Kenya workshop. Over the next few months, six digital rights activists will work to create their own campaign on a digital rights issue.