African free expression groups to engage stakeholders on Internet rights and freedoms
Feb 6, Accra: Twenty-three (23) individuals representing 19 of the most prominent freedom of expression organisations in Africa have been equipped with knowledge, skills and strategies needed to engage stakeholders across the continent on digital rights issues.
The capacity building exercise took place at a two-day workshop on digital rights issues organised in Accra, Ghana, under the theme Empowering Freedom of Expression Organisations in Africa for Effective Digital Rights Advocacy.
The participants, brought together from 15 countries across Africa, were introduced to digital rights issues currently confronting the continent and how best to engage different stakeholders in their respective countries to address these challenges.
Using the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms as reference material, the workshop introduced participants to the principles and appropriate strategies needed to address identified digital rights issues. It also focused on how to use the declaration to engage stakeholders in the internet ecosystem to ensure that the rights that people enjoy offline are also protected online in all regions of the continent.
As part of the training, participants were guided to develop short- to medium-term strategies for advocacy around different digital rights issues guided by the principles of the African Declaration. They also developed advocacy strategies for the adoption of the declaration in their respective countries of operation.
The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms is a Pan-African initiative by civil society organisations across Africa that is aimed at creating a positive rights-based internet environment that can best meet Africa's social and economic development needs and goals.
The training workshop on digital rights advocacy was organised by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) with support from the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). With additional support from the UK-based Global Partners Digital, other freedom of expression organisations in Africa also benefited from the training.
AFEX is a continental network of freedom of expression (FoE) organisations spread across East, West, South and Central Africa who are also members of IFEX. The Media Foundation for West Africa, based in Accra, Ghana, serves as the Secretariat for the network.
The Oslo Times