In this post, I am going to address two main issues: the need and role of ICT policy in Africa, and the relationship between Internet and human rights. The landscape of ICTs probably is the fastest growing sector ever experienced with any medium or any transformative technology.
“He is as useless as a dog” this was part of a Facebook post by a young Kenyan photographer on the wall of a Kenyan politician, Mr. Lewis Nguyai. The Facebook post has since led to the photographer’s arrest and may ultimately result in a defamation suit. Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) which was set up after the post election violence in 2008 to “promote equality of opportunity, good relations, harmony and peaceful coexistence between persons of different ethnic and racial backgrounds in Kenya” claims that they received 60 complaints in February 2012 regarding defamatory comments made about individuals on social media web sites. In most countries defamation is entrenched in local laws and mostly predicated on Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees legal protection against “attacks upon … honour and reputation”.
ICT policy in Africa: a lot still to be done
In this blog I argue that there is a critical need for ICT policy in Africa because ICT policy in Africa is in many respects closely linked with overcoming the digital divide. Both private investors and increasingly, public donors are not yet ready to invest in countries without a proper institutional and legal environment for internet development.
It is amazing to note the growth of ICT in Africa. Truth is that growth is measured in many ways and my measurement is based on the African environment. Many countries in Africa with exception of a few face the same challenges i.e. lack of infrastructure, poverty, education levels, unemployment to mention but a few.
On September 1-3 the first ever Southern African Internet Governance Forum kicks off in Johannesburg in preparation for the global UN internet forum to be held in Kenya.
APC Women and IPS Africa hosted a media discussion on November 17 entitled ‘Click Against Violence: Taking 16 Days of Activism Online’ to explore and highlight issues of gender based violence, ICTs and the role of media.
Internet Governance and Information Society: Developing an African Strategy - An agenda for African MPs
PROTEGE QV talks about the celebrations of the internet day in Cameroon. They were busy organising workshops, exhibiting new tools and helping young people how to find new jobs through the net.
As part of its research activities, APC has compiled a list of African ICT blogs. Thematically, most of them focus on ICT4D issues, although some others deal rather with online journalism, ICT policy, freedom of expression, or other related issues.