In November, AIRA members hosted and participated in various platforms including the Privacy Symposium Africa, and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), as they continue to advance digital rights in Africa. AIRA members issued statements and held events to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity against Journalists and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV). Read more about these below:
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – KENYA
1. Amnesty International – Kenya commemorated ten years last month, and as part of this, published an article, “Freedom, Social Justice, and Rights for All: A Decade of Amnesty International Kenya 2012 – 2022.” The article highlights Amnesty International Kenya’s key achievements from the last ten years and outlines their plans for the future that include a commitment to placing more resources at the disposal of human rights defenders and allies. Through their Circles of Conscience, they will engage on creating freedom for all, bringing down the cost of living, stopping disinformation and identity-based discrimination. You can read more about their plans here.
2. Amnesty International Kenya has started a petition to support victims and survivors of extra judicial killings. Sign this petition and leave a supportive Facebook comment here. This petition is part of a series of actions they have undertaken to advocate for victims of extra judicial killings. Other actions include a statement before the Kenya judiciary on the attempt to stop the arraignment of Police Ahmed Rashid on 8 December for extra judicial killings. Watch this statement here.
- Amnesty International – Kenya is celebrating Amnesty Kenya at 10 with Freedom Fest on the 11th of December 2022 at the Sky Lounge, Emara Ole Sereni. They will celebrate freedom with amazing artistes and local DJs. See details here.
ARTICLE 19 EASTERN AFRICA
1. Article 19 East Africa was part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) meeting in Morocco from 1st - 3rdNovember 2022. The meeting brought together organizations from Africa and the Middle East to collectively strategize on advancing the open government agenda. The meeting discussed leveraging open government approaches to strengthen public service delivery in the region through anti-corruption, digital innovation, access to justice, and civic participation. Read more about the regional meeting here.
2. Article 19 Eastern Africa partnered with Civic Freedoms Forum to convene the National Civil Society Actors Summit under the theme, “Towards Strengthening Civil Society Actors in Kenya for an Accountable Government.” The goal of the summit is to engage duty bearers and civil society organizations in Kenya on protection of civic space. Catherine Muya spoke about the responsibility of companies such as Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Telkom Kenya in data protection. Details here.
Article 19 Eastern Africa, represented by Catherine Muya, will be on a panel at the Privacy Symposium discussing: Human Rights Concerns related to Public – Private surveillance partnerships and necessary safeguards. Details here.
1. BudgIT participated in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) meeting in Morocco. BudgIT Global Director, Seun Onigbinde was on a panel and discussed the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) project whose goal is to use every available method to move new treatments to patients as quickly as possible, while at the same time finding out whether they are helpful or harmful. He also discussed how civil society organizations, the media, and other key stakeholders can collectively advocate for a sustainable Pan African movement to strengthen the health systems in Africa. Read about the event here.
2. BudgIT launched the Tracka Mobile 2.0 application. The application is an initiative of BudgIT with support from the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement Project funded by USAID Nigeria to provide everyday citizens with access to public finance management data for engagement with public institutions and public office holders on prudent management of national resources for improved service delivery. At the launch, they discussed the functions of the new application and more importantly, how the app will aid participatory governance at sub-national levels. Users of the application can now log in and connect directly with political representatives and tell them about community needs. Read the press statement and all details about the application here.
BudgIT will roll out of the Tracka Mobile 2.0 app in different parts of Nigeria over the next few months.
1. Conducted a survey on LinkedIn to identify digital rights gaps for women and girls in Nigeria. The survey found the biggest challenge girls face in terms of accessing digitally-enabled learning as, male dominance – 14%, online bullying – 5%, excessive chores – 20%, and low digital literacy – 61%. The most impactful measure to scale digitally-enabled learning for girls were identified as hybrid education, female role models, Low cost of device, and stronger protection needed. See the survey details here.
2. CcHub/I-Hub released the latest Ed-Tech Mondays video; “How do we make tech-enabled learning more accessible to girls?” The panelists were from UN Women, Nigeria, Google, Women Affairs and Social Development. Check the full video here: https://lnkd.in/ddsSS6dz
CcHub/I-hub announced the second edition of Tech Talent Development, a programme aimed at training learners to become entry-level software developers. Applicants stand a chance to join the programme and be exposed to a career in technology that will elevate you from a complete novice to an entry-level software engineer. Details here.
1. KICTANet and Unwanted Witness, Uganda hosted the Master Class at the Privacy Symposium, 2022 on gender and data under the topic, utilizing data while safeguarding women’s safety online at Strathmore University. This Master Class shared techniques, tips and tricks, and on how organizations and the public can take advantage of the new opportunities presented by publicly existing data while safeguarding women’s online safety. The beneficiaries included civil society and media practitioners. Details here.
2. KCTANet published an article on, “Building Capacity through Communities of Practise - Focus on TunapandaNet”. TunapandaNet is a community network that has been at the forefront of the community networks movement in Kenya, advocating for affordable connectivity through community deployment of infrastructure towards bridging the digital divide. TunapandaNet recently deployed capacity-building workshops centred on Communities of Practice (CoP) which are; sustainability to ensure continuity, network and Infrastructure to facilitate bridging the digital divide, and Local content creation which generated, owned, contextual and adapted knowledge. Read the article here.
3. KICTANet published an article, “Pathways Toward a Sustainable Regulation of Online Platform Work in Kenya”. The article is a report on a multi-stakeholder dialogue on this issue convened by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, GIZ Kenya, the Digital Transformation Centre, and the Gig Economy Initiative of Digital Global convened the forum. They agreed that there is a need for policies on online platforms to help balance workers’ rights and gender issues. Issues of accessibility and inclusivity were a key concern as well. The panelists noted the need to facilitate inclusivity by ensuring equality and equity in online work platforms. In addition, the need to diversify research elements toward a complete representation of the general population of gig platforms. Read the full article here.
4. At the sidelines of the IGF 2022, KICATNet hosted a summit for organizations working on Digital IDs from across the world. The meeting discussed and agreed on key areas for collaboration in 2023 and beyond.
KICTANet will continue training various stakeholder about curbing violence against women on-line.
Legal Resources Centre ( LRC)
1. LRC participated in a roundtable on the right to education, including digital education. The LRC education team has, over the past few months, conducted research into various aspects of digital education. This includes what "digital education" is and whether the right to education must include the right to digital education, which is access to online platforms for learners. The researchers also visited various schools, held meetings with principals/teachers and discussed the challenges they face arising from not having access to digital platforms. The report found that there were shortcomings by the government in meeting their statutory obligations towards digital education. Download the report here.
LRC will officially launch the report, “Digital Education and the Right to Learn” in the next few months.
1. Paradigm Initiative Partnerships and Engagements Manager Thobekile Matimbe spoke at the Privacy Symposim Africa 2022. The panel session discussed the use of data in digital ID and humanitarian works and generating in-country experiences from topic experts, including highlighting key concerns associated with the application of digital identity solutions as proof of identification of already vulnerable groups. Details here.
2. Gbenga Sesan, PIN's ED and Adeboye PIN's Senior Manager, Strategy and Grants participated as speakers at the Data Privacy Global Conference in Sao Paulo on the 7th and 8th of November. The conference brought together change-makers from all over to debate frontier issues and propose ways for social justice and tech regulation. Gbenga Sesan emphasized the importance of Human Rights Impact Assessments, adding that they could be boxes for companies to tick until they come to the realization that these rights are actually good for business. He pointed out that Paradigm Initiative's report on COVID-19 and Digital Rights shows many African countries advanced their rights-hurting mass data collection agenda through emergency policies in the name of combating pandemic. Details here.
● The Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF) 2023; will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from the 11th – 13th of April 2023. The theme for this edition is, 'Building a Sustainable Internet for all'. Details here.
● Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum has made a call for in-person session proposals which seek to unearth the challenges faced in Africa and proffer solutions to building a sustainable Internet for all. Apply here by 31st December.
Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT)
1. CIPIT in collaboration with Unwanted Witness, Uganda hosted the Privacy Symposium Africa (PSA 2022) 2022 at Strathmore University. CIPIT acting Executive Director, Melissa Omino welcomed participants to PSA 2022, and highlighted data protection as an essential human right, specifically, the right to privacy. Francis Monyango from CIPIT was on a panel at the Privacy Symposium discussing the role of academia in ensuring compliance. In case you missed it, watch highlights from the symposium here.
2. CIPIT in collaboration with Unwanted Witness Uganda and Office of the Data Protection Commissioner launched the second edition of the Privacy Scorecard Report. The report assesses data protection adherence and provides recommendations to better the practices in Kenya and Uganda. Access the report here.
CIPIT has invited professionals and students to submit papers for inclusion in the proceedings of the first Conference on the State of Artificial Intelligence in Africa (COSAA) to be held in March 2023. Papers submission deadline is on 31st December. Details here.
The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA)
1. CIPESA commemorated the international day to end impunity against journalists by publishing an article, “Are Tech Companies Skirting their Responsibilities to Journalists’ Safety?” The article analyzes discussions at FIFAfrica 22 about digital rights, and freedom of expression and safety of journalists. It notes challenges that journalists are facing in the digital ecosystem including the viability of the news media sector as well as online violence against journalists, particularly female journalists. Authoritarian governments are closing democratic space and targeting journalists through restrictive legislation and policies. Read the article here.
2. CIPESA joined a group of civil society organizations in Uganda to challenge the controversial Computer Misuse Amendment Act 2022. The amendment to the Computer Misuse Act, signed into law by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last month, has been criticised by Amnesty International, which has called for the "draconian" legislation to be scrapped. Nine rights groups, a former leader of the opposition in parliament and three prominent lawyers, lodged the petition at Uganda's Constitutional Court. This is the second court challenge to the law. Read about it here.
CIPESA and other petitioners challenged the Computer Misuse Amendment Act 2022 before the Constitutional Court in Uganda. The electronic filing of the case was on November 16th and physical presentation on 17th. CIPESA will be providing affidavit evidence towards the case in the coming months.
1. POLLICY launched the report; ‘Enduring blindspots and Infinite opportunities- Digital Creative Industries in Uganda'. The hybrid launch shared some of the quotes from the participants in the interviews, and what people in the room think about the whole process. The report was authored by former POLLICY fellow and Data and Digital Rights Researcher Zulfa Bobina. The report seeks to help fill in the significant data gaps on Digital Creative Industries in Uganda particularly through understanding the experiences of digital creatives as well as key sector players in the industry. It mapped digital creative intermediaries which included publishers, distributor, content aggregators, talent aggregators, festivals, expos, without which the sector would not survive. Details here.
2. POLLICY released a report, ‘Rethinking our approach to analyzing Digital Creative Industries (DCIs) in Uganda’. The report contributes to the limited availability of data on DCIs in Uganda through a mapping of the landscape of the sector in Kampala, Uganda. Key findings of this report include, a need to clearly define digital creative industries in Uganda since there is no single definition of the industry. The report also highlights sexism towards women in the sector who are fewer in number compared to men. Read the report here.
3. POLLICY joined the Fairwork network to study working conditions in the Ugandan platform economy. The study team will be led by Principal Investigator Neema Iyer and lead researcher Bonnita Nyamwire. The key question as to the future of work in Uganda may not be whether jobs will be formal or informal, but how digital platforms and new technologies can make this type of work more productive. Fairwork Uganda will contribute to the improvement of working conditions in the gig economy and help hold platform companies to account for unfair labour practices. By rating prominent Ugandan platforms against Fairwork’s five principles of fair work, the team will provide an independent assessment of the working conditions offered by Ugandan digital labour platforms. Details here.
POLLICY have finalised community dialogues in Bukoba. Together with Omuka Hub, they established from rural women the challenges they face in digital inclusion and what needs to be done. All these will be compiled into a report and presented during the 16 days of Digital Inclusion in Tanzania campaign running from 25th November to 10th December. Details here.