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The Centre for Multilateral Affairs (CfMA) aids policy thinking by advancing African and global South perspectives and priorities in domestic, regional and international policy discourses. It keenly explores the intersection of digital and cyberspace governance and multilateral politics. 

Based in Uganda, CfMA was formed in 2019, inspired by a call in a peer-reviewed German journal called Key Issues. It argued that international relations perspectives were lacking in debates around internet governance. Motivated to respond to the journal’s call, the co-founders submitted a paper on Authoritarianism and Internet Governance in Tanzania that was accepted and published. 

During the 2019 Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) in Addis Ababa, the co-founders consulted individual community members on the need and intention to create an institution that explores the intersection of multilateral politics and digital and cyberspace governance – and thus CfMA was formed with a mission to contribute to informing global South perspectives and priorities in policy processes guided by evidence-based research and advocacy.

APCNews spoke to Moses Owiny at CfMA to find out more about the organisation's priorities and why it has joined the APC member network.

Why did you decide to join the APC network?

Immediately after CfMA was formed in 2019, we became very active in contributing to discussions and debates on several thematic areas. For instance, we realised that there were very few African civil society actors actively participating in and contributing to the UN’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) in the context of international security processes. Our participation in the OEWG II informal consultations and in other processes on issues like cybercrime were complementary to APC’s, often advancing the perspectives of African and global South actors in these processes.

Personally, I have had a long history working with APC dating back as far as 2013. I represented the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) on the APC Council until June 2018, and so I participated in APC member meetings starting from the one in Barcelona to the one in Ithala. I have also had a very long history of participating in multistakeholder policy processes such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), RightsCon, FIFAfrica and the WSIS+10 outcome review. All these provided various insights and perspectives by exploring the convergence of multilateral politics and digital and cyberspace governance.

What do you think you can contribute as a member, and what do you expect from APC?

We hope that CfMA can continue to complement APC’s work in advancing African and global South perspectives and priorities in multilateral and multistakeholder policy processes. We bring our expertise in international relations to enrich discussions and discourses around internet governance, cyberspace and digital policy processes. We also explore other multilateral thematic areas such as migration and transnational crises, regional peace and security, democracy and human rights and its intersection with digitalisation. Therefore, we expect to broaden the APC network with these expertise and perspectives.

At our end, we expect the APC network to expand our scope of work, broadening interventions to matters of multilateral affairs, and offering a digital lens to all issues that affect our society. We also hope to benefit from APC’s capacity building, subgrants and other opportunities for networking at regional and international levels.