Highlighting some of our recent work and activities
Edition 1: January - February 2019
Within a few weeks of 2019, the continent has witnessed various, mostly negative, internet freedom developments. These included the disruption to online communications that Zimbabwe experienced during public protests, uncertainty over possible disruptions to online communications during elections in Nigeria, and the dramatic impact that the social media taxes has had on internet penetration in Uganda. Meanwhile, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon have also experienced network disruptions this year. In a positive development, the Zimbabwe high court later ruled that the shutdown was illegal, finding that the minister of state in charge of national security did not have the authority to issue any shutdown directives.
As Nigeria and Senegal go to the polls this weekend, CIPESA has joined the #KeepItOn community of civil society organisations from across the world in urging the respective state authorities to ensure that online communications remain open and accessible during this critical political period.
Indeed, the need to guarantee access to the internet was among the key discussions at the first African edition of re:publica that took place in Accra, Ghana in December 2018. We showcased our work and contributed to debates on advancing digital rights in Africa including on the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in politics, the arts and innovation. Regrettably, many actions and decisions pertaining to internet governance on the continent continue to raise the question of whether Africa’s internet future is fractured.