The expansion of access to the Internet in Africa is a game of political power and control.
I reached this conclusion as we mapped and analysed the main internet governance issues this past week during the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG).
The internet remains one of the historical developments transforming human behaviour, greatly impacting on the social, economic, cultural and political spheres of life at an incredible speed.
There is a drive to connect one billion Africans by 2020, and as more Africans get online, governments have the responsibility to protect the rights and freedoms of their citizens. Yet what we see currently are increased cases of crackdown on dissenting voices.
Have you ever thought about the massive and significant role that the internet plays in the world? And how its governance impacts and relates to the African continent? These are just some of the questions that were addressed by participants at the fourth African School on Internet Governance held in Durban, South Africa, from 11 to 15 October 2016.
*_Each week David Souter comments on an important issue for APC members and others concerned about the Information Society.
APC is gearing up for three exciting events starting soon in Durban, South Africa: the African Gender and Internet Governance eXchange (gigX), the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) and the African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF).
PROTEGE QV at the African School on Internet Governance: “The African Declaration should be a citizen handbook on internet use”
Since 1995, PROTEGE QV has worked in promoting rural development, protecting the environment and improving the well-being of communities in Cameroon. In 2007, it joined APC as the first central African member with the following motto: “We believe in the power of ICT to give equal access to information as a strategy to fight against poverty.”
Gender and Internet Governance Exchange - Africa: Barriers to women’s participation on the internet evolve with increased "access"
In the opening session at this year’s Gender and Internet Governance Exchange (gigXAfrica), participants highlighted some key questions they had that they hoped would be answered during the exchange. One participant innocently asked: if the internet is free for all, how are women really marginalised in that space?
African School of Internet Governance 2015: Policy and regulation that impact internet-related human rights
On Day 3 of AfriSIG, Dr. David Souter delivered a lecture on policy and regulation that impact internet-related human rights. The lecture highlighted the fact that the internet has in fact impacted rights widely, and in particular freedom of expression, freedom of assembly as it is now, online as well as offline, and the sensitive right to privacy issue.
For five days last year, I was privileged to attend the Second (2014) African School on Internet Governance in Mauritius, curtsey of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Association for Progressive Communications (APC).