September was an exciting month for AIRA, with members holding their first in-person convening after two years of virtual meetings. We also co-hosted a session on Advancing Digital Safety and other Protections for Children in Africa at FIFAfrica22. September also marked the day of the International Day for Access to Information 2022.
) Paradigm Initiative participated in a roundtable at the side-lines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) during which the the Digital Collective Impact Coalition (CIC) was launched. The meeting highlighted multi-stakeholder approaches to digital inclusion and in particular, addressing ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and application by the world’s most influential digital technology companies. Paradigm Initiative’s Excutive Director, Gbenga Sesan was part of the discussion at the launch. The online event was launched on 27thSeptember 2022. In a joint statement, Paradigm Initiative and partners called on technology companies to commit to responsible development and application of AI, guided by ethics, respect for human rights and the principle of leaving no one behind. As a first step, companies must disclose this commitment from their highest level of management. Details here.
2) Paradigm Initiative (PIN) convened the Net Rights Coalition and in September, and held a webinar on Digital Safety in the Face of Cybercrimes digital safety, including how to spot phishing emails, social engineering attempts and other cyber-attacks. Wuraola Taiwo (CcHub/I-Hub) spoke at the event. Details here.
3) PIN joined the Data Values movement to create a fairer data future for all. The Data Values Manifesto calls for change in how we design, collect, fund, manage, and use data. Organizations, governments, and people must act now and together to create this change. This can be achieved through: public participation, democratizing data skills for equality, transparency, and funding responsive data systems. Check out the new manifesto for action and join them in leading the changehere.
- Paradigm Initiative(PIN) is planning a side event at the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in Banjul, Gambia in 20thOctober to 9th November, 2022 on Internet Shutdowns and Online Privacy in Africa.
- Paradigm Initiative has started a campaign against the spread of false news on social media, and the need to consider it in the upcoming elections. The campaign aims to teach the public how to be cautious against misinformation and disinformation, identify it and online tools to verify sources of images and news shared online. The campaign is running on Twitter under #MatterOfFact. Details here.
Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa - CIPESA
1) CIPESA convened the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2022 (FIFAfrica22) in Lusaka this September- 26th to 29th 2022. The event was attended by key stakeholders in the digital righst eco-system across Africa and other parts of the world. CIPESA launched its report on the state of digital rights in Africa titled, State of Internet Freedom in Africa: The Rise of Biometric Surveillance. Access it here.
2) All AIRA Members actively participated in different sessions @ FIFAfrica 22. For instance:
- Amnesty International (AI) was on a panel discussing, how to monitor elections effectively when there are internet shutdowns? Details here.
- Article 19 EA hosted a session at FIFAfrica on incorporating human rights at DNS level in Africa
- Paradigm was part of a panel that discussed, the Protection of Digital Rights through Strategic Litigation. Details here.
- POLLICY hosted a session on the significant online gender-based violence experienced by feminist journalists and human rights defenders in Senegal, DRC, Uganda, and Anglophone Cameroon.
3) CIPESA released an article entitled “Uganda Passes Regressive Law on “Misuse of Social Media” and Hate Speech. The article notes that on September 8, 2022, Uganda’s Parliament passed a law that criminalises various uses of computers and digital technologies and largely curtails digital rights. the article highlights key regressive provisions including the prohibition of the “misuse of social media”, described in clause 6 as publishing, distributing or sharing information prohibited under Uganda’s laws. A highly punitive penalty has been prescribed for the offence.Access the article Here
CIPESA’s program officer, Mr. Paul Kimumwe will represent AIRA at the first Data Privacy Global Conference, to be held in São Paulo, between the 7th and 8th of November. The conference is organized by two organizations, the Data Privacy Brasil Education (School) and the Data Privacy Brasil Research Association (NGO). The goal of the conference is to have truly transatlantic conversations on data governance and regulation of emerging technologies, in order to explore the synergies and singularities from a local, regional and global perspective.
1. KICTANet released its preliminary election observation report for the August Kenya general elections. The report noted that the 2022 general election management demonstrated that there was great potential to leverage technology to enhance the accuracy, verifiability, transparency and integrity of the processing of voter data as required. Read it here.
2. KICTANet, released an article, ‘Should Government officials delete their social media accounts?’ The article highlights among other issues the power imbalance between private and public policy. It recommends that the incoming minister for ICT should prioritize and provide policy guidance in this area during the better part of their 100 days in office. Details here.
3. KICTANet will be work with two (2) fellows in its Digital Equality Access program. Mr. Nicodemus Nyakundi and Ms. Florence Awino, advocates of disability inclusion and empowerment will bring PWDs' voices to the internet governance ecosystem and help integrate the needs of PWDs into KICTANet’s programs,including ICT policy advocacy. Details here.
4. KICTANet published a study paper that maps the cybersecurity landscape in Kenya with a focus on the financial sector, and advocates for a human- centric approach in cybersecurity. The paper argues that cybersecurity should address not only a security concerns but also the needs of its people. The approach is about giving users information in a way that encourages the right behaviour when it comes to how they handle data and manage cybersecurity breaches. Here is the link http://bit.ly/3vBc5SA
KICTANet and CIPIT are calling for applications for the Gender and Data Master Class due to take place on 2nd November 2022 at Strathmore University during the 4th Privacy Symposium Africa of 2nd to 4th November 2022; Details Here
Article 19 Eastern Africa
1. Article 19 Eastern Africa convened a discussion to evaluate the disconnect between tech giants’ content moderation practices and what is happening on the ground in the local communities in which content is produced and distributed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya and Indonesia. In Kenya, interviewees observed that users had learnt to ‘weaponise’ social media to propagate problematic content while avoiding reactions by platforms. Such users’ tactics included setting up groups on social media specifically for sharing problematic content; creating and coordinating troll armies or so-called ‘keyboard warriors’ to run smear campaigns, and threaten and intimidate certain individuals; manipulating content reporting tools and alleging copyright infringement; and circumventing detection measures by, for example, using multiple accounts and bots. Read the details here.
2. Article 19 EA participated in podcast highlighting challenges of content moderation and its work under the #socialmedia4peace project. The Tech Policy Press podcast took a look at the global challenges of content moderation, with a focus on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kenya and Indonesia. More details Here
3. Article 19 Eastern Africa issued a statement calling on Uganda’s Prosecutor to unconditionally withdraw all charges against Teddy Nalubowa who is in remand until 26th Sept 2022. Teddy was charged with offensive communication contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011. Read the story here.
Article 19 Eastern Africa has issued a call for consultants to develop a training toolkit on data protection and media practice in Kenya. The project aims to increase the awareness of data protection among different stakeholders in Kenya such as journalists, media practitioners, online creatives, bloggers and photographers, and marginalized citizens. The deadline: Saturday 1st October2022. Apply here.
1. CIPIT published an article, Intellectual property and artificial intelligence: can artificial intelligence receive copyright protection? The article examines whether AI has the legal capacity to create, own, exploit and enforce the rights awarded through copyright protection. It finds that there is resistance to giving AI the legal capacity, but this will be an interesting subject to follow to see how the world will adapt to the protection of AI-generated works. Article here.
2. CIPIT published an article, Turning a new leaf: new appointments to kenya’s copyright tribunal. The article highlights the recent swearing-in ceremony of the new Chairperson and Members of the Kenyan Copyright Tribunal. The article also discusses the mandate and powers of the tribunal under the Copyright Act. It is noted that the tribunal, impacts on fostering creativity and a bearing on the success of arts and cultural industry… which rely upon copyright law to establish property rights and protect revenues. Read it here.
1. The Active Citizens Awards; Celebrating Heroes making Ground-breaking Impacts: were awarded on 9thSeptember 2022. Some of the awardees were; Citizen Gavel founder, Nelson Jide who works to accelerate justice delivery in Africa through tech and to open Africa to the world by solving unattended justice issues globally. Debo Macaroni, piched up the Art for Activism Award, which recognises a work of art that has pushed for political consciousness, reform, and national change. Find more details here.
2. BudgIt hosted a Twitter Space examining the intersectionality of faith, politics and elections. The conversation was between Godman Akinlabi, lead pastor at the Elevation Church, and Edun Abdul Fatai, and co-hosted by Enough is Enough Nigeria. Details here.
BudgIT, Paradigm Initiative and Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria) will hold the fifth edition of the bi-annual Pan-African New Media, Citizens, and Governance Conference (NMCG) on November 17, 2022, themed Protecting Digital Rights in Closing Spaces. Details Here.
Legal Resources Centre
1.The LRC is one of 62 organisations and people that signed this joint letter objecting to the lack of a meaningful and appropriate public participation process in the appointment of new commissioners to the Commission for gender equality. Details here.
2.LRC are honoring the legacy of George Bizos with the George Bizos Human Rights Award, which will be presented to a recipient who, much like Bizos, has shown remarkable leadership in the pursuit of equality and justice for all. Details here.
LRC will be filing a case in the next coupel fo months to challenge failure to ensure internet access, as a contributory factor to lack of access to education by children.
1. Niyel Campaigns, in collaboration with Pollicy and Digit’All Exchange announced the Africa Data Governance Hub. The hub We is the most diverse, transformative and inclusive knowledge hub in Africa with a collation of data governance resources and actors. It is an opportunity to access regional decision makers, inform policy making, collaborate across skills & interests, and access capacity building tools. Details here.
2. POLLICY published an article, "Language & Coloniality: Non-Dominant Languages in the Digital Landscape". The report seeks to unpack the use of Indigenous or non-majority languages in the existing digital landscape. According to the report, 10 languages represent 82% of Internet content: English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, German, French and Malaysian. Low language diversity in digital spaces reflects the decline in minority languages. When languages are not digitally supported, users have less ability to take advantage of social media, e-commerce and other Internet platforms that are increasingly a part of global daily life. Access the report here.
3. A FIFAFrica22 Session was hosted by Pollicy on the significant online gender-based violence experienced by feminist journalists and human rights defenders in Senegal, DRC, Uganda, and Anglophone Cameroon. It was noted that only 4% of the women feel confident about using online tools for protection, but most have experienced different forms of online violence, including slut shaming. There is no law in Cameroon against OGBV, in Senegal, there's a law against sexual harassment online but poorly executed, in Uganda, laws like the online pornography act are used against women rather than for them. More on this session here.
1.CcHUB Design Lab (Kigali, Rwanda) is hosting the Dev Junction event for participants to learn more about the role and importance of Tech Communities. Details here.
2.In September, the #EdTechMonday show focused on the use of e-learning in universities across Nigeria. One of the specific topics discussed was "The obstacles to digitised higher education in Nigeria were discussed.” Another topic Digitising #HigherEducation in Nigeria: Opportunities and Challenges: Access it;here
On 5th October 2022, Cchub/Ihub will be hosting the first African Bitcoin Conversation. A Bitcoin core developer will talk about what it takes to put your software talents to work on coding for Bitcoin. Details here.
1. Amnesty International Kenya released their monthly newsletter detailing activities in Nairobi, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Kericho counties, and reflections on the elections. During the elections, they noted posts by Kpolitical candidates and their supporters aimed at misinforming the electorate and the public. Read here.
2. Amnesty International Kenya was part of a television discussion on lessons learned from the just concluded elections and what’s next for the country. Watch here. They noted that the voice of the 40% youth who didn’t vote is so loud to be ignored.
3.Two Amnesty International Kenya board members Catherine Mumma and Crystal Asige were nominated to the Kenyan senate. Hon. Catherine Mumma is a passionate constitutionalist whose vast experience in devolution, the right to food and health will be invaluable to her service in the Senate. Hon Crystal Asige introduced disability rights into the centre of Amnesty Kenya’s work. She also championed the power of culture, music, and art across our programmes as well. The Senate represents the counties, and serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments. Read more here.
Amnesty International Kenya is turning 10 in October and will be celebrating with their members during the first Annual Delegates Conference of 2022. They are looking to appoint candidates for the six voluntary positions of Annual Delegates Conference (ADC); Chairperson (1), ADC Committee Members (2) and Nominations Committee members (3). More details here.