Digital Rights Prioritised at The 73rd Session of The ACHPR

By CIPESA Writer |

Digital rights as key to the realisation and enforcement of human rights on the African continent was  among the thematic focus areas of the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 73rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) held on October 17-18, 2022 in Banjul, the Gambia. Under the theme “Human Rights and Governance in Africa: A Multi-Dimensional Approach in Addressing Conflict, Crisis and Inequality”, the Forum also featured thematic discussions on conflict, the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, the environment, climate change, gender-based violence, post Covid-19 strategies and civic space for human rights and good governance.

The Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the ACHPR is an advocacy platform coordinated by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies. It aims to promote advocacy, lobbying and networking among non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. The Forum allows for sharing updates on the human rights situation on the continent by African and international NGOs with a view of identifying responses as well as adopting strategies towards promoting and protecting human rights on the continent.

A session in which the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) participated alongside Paradigm Initiative (PIN), the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and the Centre for Human Rights-University of Pretoria, discussed the relationship between human rights and technology.

Thobekile Matimbe from PIN observed that internet shutdowns in the region are worrying and a major threat to freedom of expression, access to information, freedom of association and peaceful assembly contrary to article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People Rights (ACHPR) and the ACHPR Declaration of Principles on freedom of expression and access to information in Africa. She  expounded on the profound adverse impacts of internet shutdowns and disruptions on socio-economic rights, including the right to education, housing, health, and even social security. Matimbe specifically called for an end to the now two years internet and phone shutdown in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, while also regretting the continued violation of international human rights standards by States in other parts of the continent. 

Introducing digital rights as human rights and situating the different human rights groups within the digital rights discourse, Irene Petras from ICNL highlighted the technological evolution on the continent and the interrelatedness and interdependence of the internet with various rights and freedoms. According to her, internet shutdowns are an emerging concern that is adversely impacting the digital civic space. 

According to Access Now, in 2021 at least 182 internet shutdowns were experienced in 34 countries across the globe. In Africa, shutdowns were recorded in 12 countries on up to 19 occasions. The affected countries were Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Niger, Uganda and Zambia, which experienced internet restrictions during elections. Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Senegal and South Sudan experienced internet shutdowns due to protests and civil unrest. 

According to CIPESA’s legal officer Edrine Wanyama, given the long-standing authoritarianism and democracy deficits in most parts of the continent, elections, protests and demonstrations and examination periods are  the key drivers of internet shutdowns in Africa. Wanyama also noted that the consequences of internet shutdowns were wide ranging, extending to economic and financial loss, undermining freedom of expression, access to information and access to the internet, aggravating the digital exclusion gap, placing doubt on credibility of elections, facilitating loss of trust in governments and often fueling disinformation and hate speech

Given the social, economic and political benefits of the internet, Hlengiwe Dube of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria urged states to re-think its availability and access at all times, as opposed to imposing information blackouts and creating situations for litigation.  She noted that meaningful access and creation of a facilitative environment for internet access has widely been advanced as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The session called for active monitoring and documentation of internet shutdowns by NGOs including through collaborative and partnership building efforts, utilising investigative tools like Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) and NetBlocks which help to detect disruptions, and engaging in strategic litigation. 

The joint recommendations provided for inclusion in the NGOs Statement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) 73rd Ordinary Session by the thematic cluster on digital rights and security are to:

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) 

  1. In the event of an internet shutdown or any state-perpetrated network disruption, the ACHPR should condemn in the strongest terms such practices and reiterate the state obligations under international human rights law and standards. 
  2. In its assessment of State periodic reports, the ACHPR should engage States under assessment on issues of internet access including the occurrence of interferences through measures such as the removal, blocking or filtering of content and assess compliance with international human rights law and standards.
  3. The ACHPR should engage with stakeholders including State Parties, national human rights institutions and NGOs to develop guidance on internet freedom in Africa aimed at realising an open and secure internet in the promotion of freedom of expression and access to information online.

States Parties

  1. States should recognise and respect that universal, equitable, affordable and meaningful access to the internet is necessary for the realisation of human rights by adopting legal, policy and other measures to promote access to the internet and amend laws that unjustifiably restrict access to the internet.
  2. States parties should desist from unnecessarily implementing internet shutdowns and any other arbitrary actions that limit access to, and use of the internet and restore all disrupted digital networks where such disruptions have been ordered. Where limitation measures that disrupt access to the internet and social media are inevitable, they should be narrowly applied and should be prescribed by the law; serve a legitimate aim and be necessary and proportionate means to achieve a stated aim in a democratic society. 
  3. The State, as the duty bearer, should create a conducive environment for business entities to operate in a manner that respects human rights. 

Non-Governmental Organisations 

  • NGOs and other stakeholders should monitor and document the occurrence of internet shutdowns including their impact on human rights and development; raise awareness of the shutdowns and continuously advocate for an open and secure internet.

The Private Sector

  • Telecommunications companies and internet service providers, in their response to shut down requests, should take the relevant legal measures to avoid internet shutdowns and whenever they receive Internet Shutdown requests from States, the companies should insist on human rights due diligence before such measures are taken to mitigate their impact on human rights, ensuring transparency.

Journalists in DR Congo and Rwanda Grapple with Disinformation and Hate Speech. Here’s What They Should Do

By CIPESA Writer |

As disinformation and hate speech intensify during periods of armed conflict and political unrest, journalists can play a critical role in countering falsehoods by providing accurate, unbiased information to the public. Yet, journalists often lack the skills and resources to identify, fact-check, and call out disinformation.

Last month, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) convened a consultative meeting in Rwanda’s border town of Rubavu for Congolese and Rwandan journalists to discuss how they can play a more effective role in countering disinformation in the conflict between the two countries while providing accurate information in their reporting. The meeting discussed the nature of the disinformation and its key instigators and spreaders, media pluralism, and factual reporting.

The Conflict

In recent months, the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Rwanda have traded accusations of supporting rebel forces destabilising each other’s country, with disinformation and hate speech taking centre stage in the conflict and fuelling hostilities between the neighbours.

The Congolese government is engaged in armed conflict against the M23 rebel group, which it says is supported by the Rwanda government. A recent United Nations (UN) report corroborated the allegations, indicating that Kigali supports the M23 rebels and other militia operating in the troubled North Kivu province. Rwanda denies the allegations and in turn accuses its neighbour of supporting the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) armed rebels that have bases inside eastern Congo from where they purportedly make occasional incursions into Rwanda.

This ongoing conflict has also sucked in the UN peacekeeping force in DR Congo, commonly known as the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). There are increased calls for its withdrawal from the central African nation amidst accusations that it has failed to stop the M23 rebel advances and killings by other militia. According to media reports, 36 people including four UN peacekeepers were killed in late July amid protests against MONUSCO.

Information Disorder

The Congolese online space is fraught with calls for a boycott of Rwandan goods and businesses, as well as calls for expulsion of Rwandan nationals. In late May, Congo suspended Rwanda’s national carrier Rwandair’s flights from its territory. The hashtag #RwandaIsKilling trended online in July 2022 as some Congolese citizens and their government accused Rwanda of supporting the resurgence of attacks by the M23 rebels that claim to protect ethnic Rwandans that are native to eastern Congo, especially the Tutsi ethnic group.

The disinformation is particularly pronounced on social networking and sharing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. However, some mainstream media, including private radio and television stations, have played an active role in manipulating information and entrenching hate speech against some members of the Congolese Kinyarwanda-speaking communities and Rwandan nationals.

Yet it is not media actors on one side of the border that are actively promoting disinformation. Journalists and media houses on the Rwandan side were also accused of propagating anti-Congo disinformation, notably that related to the Congolese government’s alleged support for anti-Rwanda armed groups. Often, those who promote the pro-Rwanda narrative are engaged in exchanges with the pro-Congo influencers on social media, with both sides utilising disinformation.

Participants at the Rubavu meeting noted that politicians have been at the forefront of using disinformation to push nationalistic and populist agendas against the Rwandan community living in Congo’s North Kivu and the South-Kivu provinces. As one Congolese journalist explained, “The disinformation and hate speech narratives have been mostly pushed by politicians and this has been done for petty political and personal interests.”

Yet another journalist, who operates from the Congolese city of Goma, noted that some prominent members of the community, “such as religious leaders, influential civil society leaders, and grassroots leaders have also played a major role in peddling and spreading false narratives and fake news.”

Participants also identified political analysts, social media influencers, bloggers, local civic leaders and ordinary citizens, as some of the actors behind the current spate of hate speech and disinformation within the digital space of the two countries.

It was noted that many journalists, both in DR Congo and Rwanda, lacked the capacity to verify the information and had become complicit, knowingly and unknowingly, in spreading disinformation. Furthermore, because most citizens could not easily identify disinformation and tended to believe most information they received through mainstream and social media platforms, fake news was thriving and spreading rapidly.

Nadine Kampire from the Goma-based media network Afia Amani Grands Lacs, said the Rubavu meeting was timely, as fake news and hate speech were rampant on various Congolese and Rwandan social media. It was therefore necessary for journalists to appreciate the extent of the problem, to develop skills in fact-checking, and to build networks for sharing credible information with counterparts across borders.

The Effects

For the residents of Goma and Rubavu, the effects of disinformation and hate speech on regional peace and stability are all clear. The disinformation, escalation of conflict and whipping up of hate speech, have led to a substantial decline in the movement of people and goods and continue to undermine cross-border trade. As a result, this has negatively affected the livelihoods of hundreds of small-scale traders and community members.

Further, the standoff between the two countries has prevented many learners from attending school as they fear crossing the border. Notably, many Rwandans in Rubavu attend schools in the much larger city of Goma across the border.

Fidèle Kitsa, a Congolese journalist working with Star Radio in Goma, noted that hate speech and disinformation have caused negative social, economic and educational consequences within communities in the border towns. He said the price of food and commodities increased, the population has been radicalised, pessimism towards certain information on social media increased, and the peaceful coexistence of the populations in two cities has been harmed. These effects are evident beyond the border towns, all the way to the Congolese capital Kinshasa.

The tension is palpable, even here in the capital [Kinshasa] where we really see acts of xenophobia between the Congolese and Rwandans all day long. All it takes is one click, one video, one publication and it can quickly go viral, because in our minds, our subconscious, the information is there. We are just waiting for something to trigger it. – Dandjes Luyila, Journalick, CongoCeck

A Rwandan editor summed up the effects: “The rampant spread of fake news, political propaganda, and hate speech across social media and through the mainstream media has breached trust and the social relationship between the communities living on both sides of the border.”


At the end of the meeting, a number of recommendations were made that can help to stem the spread of disinformation in DR Congo and Rwanda.



  • Abide by ethical standards that promote accuracy, fairness, and objectivity in the coverage of news.
  • Fact-check every piece of information before disseminating it.
  • Provide news and information in an unbiased way.
  • Actively promote peace and security.

Media development agencies:

  • Hold regular training on fact-checking for journalists.
  • Provide small grants to support journalists to pursue in-depth stories on the ongoing conflict in the region as a way of providing accurate information to the public.
  • Enhance collaboration between journalists within the East and Central African region. This includes the creation of a regional association of journalists and media professionals.
  • Support media initiatives that are working towards identifying and fighting disinformation and fake news.
  • Support fact-checking initiatives for journalists.

Kenya’s 2022 Political Sphere Overwhelmed by Disinformation

Ahead of the August 9, 2022, general elections, Kenya has been hit by a deluge of disinformation, which is fanning hate speech, threatening electoral integrity, and is expected to persist well beyond the polls. Last month, the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) and CIPESA convened stakeholders in Nairobi to disseminate the findings of research on the nature, pathways, and effects of disinformation in the lead-up to the election, and the actions required to combat disinformation. Below is a summary of the report findings and takeaways from the dissemination event, as captured by KICTANet:

There is a lot of strange information going on around the country, and this has been happening for a while. During the Kenya Internet Governance Forum (IGF) week, the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) in partnership with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) held a workshop to disseminate a report on  Disinformation in Kenya’s Political Sphere: Actors, Pathways and Effects. The research is part of a regional study conducted by CIPESA, that explores the nature, perpetrators, and effects of misinformation in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya.

As Kenya nears the 2022 general elections, disinformation remains at its peak levels, both at grassroots and national levels. The availability of sophisticated technology and its ease of use has enabled a wide range of political actors to act as originators and spreaders of disinformation.

Currently, there is no law that clearly defines or distinguishes between misinformation and disinformation. However, it is an offense to deliberately create and spread false or misleading information in the country. False publications and the publication of false information are punishable under the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act under Sections 22 and 23. It is a crime to relay false information with the intent that such information is viewed as true, with or without monetary gain. However, these same laws can also be used to silence dissent, making it a double-edged sword.

The study identifies different forms of disinformation that take place both physically and online. They include deep fakes, text messages, WhatsApp messages, and physical copies such as pamphlets and fliers. These are spread through the use of keyboard armies on social media, where politicians up to the grassroots levels hire influencers, and content creators who spread messages around them or against their opponents. This is done through mass brigading and document and content manipulation. The rationale is driven by the desire to get ahead politically or economically and is fuelled by an ecosystem that is fertile for the spread of this vice.

According to Safaricom, in the year 2017, 50% of its communications department time was spent monitoring fraud and fake information at different times. The instigators of this disinformation are influencers, politicians themselves, people they work with, and their parties.

There is a flow to how the fake news gets to the audience, and disinformation does not start with the pictures but with a plan that is part of a bigger political strategy. It starts with identifying the target audience, choosing the personnel and people to push the message, and then narrative development is done. This is followed by content development, which includes videos, pictures or memes, and audio files. Once this is done, the content is then strategically released to the unknowing public, who, without critically analyzing the information, spread it far and wide to a wider audience. This results in diminished trust in democratic and political institutions and restricted access to reliable and diverse information.

This can be addressed by having increased government engagement on social media as opposed to it being reactive only. For example, the government needs to be an active contributor to accurate information. Considering there is a space in which disinformation thrives, in particular where there is a lack of response, rumors spread. Civil society should also engage with policymakers and media representatives on enhancing digital literacy and fact-checking skills. The intermediaries should increase transparency and accountability in content moderation measures and conduct cross-sectoral periodic policy reviews.

Key Takeaways

  1. The weakest link in disinformation is the citizen, and therefore, one of the most effective ways to tackle the issue is to empower the citizenry to be able to detect and respond wisely to misinformation. If the general public is not informed, it is a lost battle.
  2. There is a thin line between misinformation and mal-information and it can easily be blurred.
  3. The Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act 2018 is a double-edged sword that censors yet tries to get some accountability from the general public in regard to spreading misinformation.
  4. Safaricom reported that during the 2017 election, 50% of its time was spent monitoring fraudulent interactions.

Ethiopia's New Hate Speech and Disinformation Law Weighs Heavily on Social Media Users and Internet Intermediaries

By Edrine Wanyama |

In March 2020, Ethiopia enacted the Hate Speech and Disinformation Prevention and Suppression Proclamation to address hate speech and disinformation, which have historically troubled the country. However, whereas government regulation is legitimate to control hate speech, Ethiopia’s new law poses a threat to freedom of expression and access to information online. 

The Proclamation appears well-intentioned judging from its objectives. These are stated as: “to protect freedom of expression while suppressing all forms of hatred and discrimination; promote tolerance, civil discourse and dialogue, mutual respect and strengthen democratic governance; and to control and suppress the dissemination and proliferation of hate speech, disinformation, and other related false and misleading information.”

In reality, besides having overbroad and ambitious definitions that are subject to misinterpretation and abuse, the new law also weighs heavily on social media users and intermediaries, and introduces harsh penalties, contrary to international human rights instruments, including articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. 

The overbroad definitions in the law render it subject to discretionary interpretation by law enforcers such as prosecutors and courts, which creates fertile ground for abusing citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and the right to information. Shortly after it came into force, the law was used to charge journalist Yayesew Shimelis for allegedly attempting to incite violence by spreading false information contrary to article 5 of the Proclamation.

The law holds intermediaries liable for content policing,  with article 8 requiring providers of social media services to act within 24 hours to remove or take out of circulation disinformation or hate speech upon receiving notifications about such communication or post.

Further, the law introduces harsh penalisation of hate speech or disinformation over social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers. The punishment prescribed is imprisonment of up to three years and 100,000 birr (USD 2,907), but where violence or a public disturbance occurs as a result of dissemination of disinformation, the punishment is “rigorous imprisonment from two year up to five years”. 

The new law – as well as the internet shutdown imposed in the country at the end of June 2020 – go counter to the reform programme introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in early 2018. Indeed, some suggested that the indictment of Shimelis under the new law might be politically motivated.

In a country with a history of severe restrictions to digital rights and freedoms,  censorship, as well as persecution and prosecution of journalists, the likelihood for the new law to become a tool of suppression is high.

In this brief, CIPESA outlines the problematic provisions of the Proclamation and calls upon the government to amend or repeal the law. 

The Africa Digital Rights Fund Awards USD 152,000 to Advance Digital Rights in 18 African Countries

By Ashnah Kalemera |

The second round of the Africa Digital Rights Fund (ADRF) has awarded a total of USD 152,000 to 14 initiatives that will work to advance digital rights in 18 African countries. Among the focus areas of the initiatives are access to information, data protection and privacy, digital economy, Digital Identity (ID), digital security, diversity and inclusion, freedom of expression, hate speech, misinformation, and innovation for democratic participation, transparency and accountability (civic and social tech).

ADRF Round Two focus countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe

Launched in April 2019, the ADRF responds to rising digital rights violations such as arrests and intimidation of internet users, network shutdowns, and a proliferation of laws and regulations that hamper internet access and affordability. It offers flexible and rapid response grants to initiatives in Africa to implement activities that advance digital rights and the potential of technology to uphold human rights, advance democratic governance, and drive innovation. In the inaugural round of ADRF, initiatives with activities spanning 16 African countries received a total of USD 65,000.

The second call for applications attracted 164 applications from 33 countries. The applicants were assessed on the following attributes:

  • The applicant’s experience in advancing digital rights/track record on similar work;
  • Demonstrated need for the project, including relevance to described context and priorities of the Fund;
  • Eligibility in terms of geographic coverage, proposed activities, duration, and evidence of the applicant’s formal registration or operations;
  • Demonstration of innovation with regards to approach, feasibility of deliverables and timelines, and potential impact of the intervention;
  • Potential for data-driven advocacy;
  • Budget feasibility; and
  • Diversity considerations.

The assessment was conducted by CIPESA programme staff and five external experts with extensive experience in the digital rights field.

Together with the inaugural grantees, grantees from  the second round will be eligible for technical and institutional capacity building, including on data literacy and advocacy skills through the Data4Change initiative, as well as impact communication.

The grantees of the ADRF’s second call are:

Action et Humanisme – Ivory Coast: Action et Humanism will work to promote internet use among persons with disabilities in Cote d’Ivoire by conducting quality of service/user experience surveys, assessments of ICT accessibility compliance among government entities and telecommunications companies, and knowledge and skills building exercises on inclusive internet access for 100 representatives from media, disability rights organisations, academia and technology companies.

ADISI – Cameroon: ADISI will promote social accountability and citizen-duty bearer interactions beyond Cameroon’s economic capital Douala through its civic engagement and data journalism initiatives, and capacity building of youth leaders in digital advocacy, public policy participation, and  access to information.

African Feminism – Pan African: Through its network of writers, contributors and editors, African Feminism will document legal and policy developments as well as survivor experiences of revenge pornography in Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda towards pushing for accountability (prevention, protection and redress) of governments and platform operators. The documentation will be via in-depth articles, visual stories and social media campaigns.

Centre for International Trade, Economics and Environment (CUTS) – Kenya: While acknowledging the potential gains of digital innovation in Kenya’s financial services sector, concerns about threats and vulnerabilities to privacy and data protection, as well as to consumer rights, prevail. Accordingly, through research, policy analysis and online campaigns, CUTS will examine the technological, institutional, and legal environment relating to digital financial consumer protection in Kenya and identify opportunities for strengthening the sector.

Digital Shelter – Somalia: In response to arrests and intimidation of several journalists and social media activists by the Somali federal government and federal states, digital attacks, and threats from terrorist groups, Digital Shelter will organise a series of events under the theme “Protect Our Online Space”. Targeting 120 human rights defenders, activists, journalists and bloggers, the project will work on digital safety and security, the shrinking civic space, freedom of expression and hate speech.

Forum de Organizacoes de Pessoas com Deficiencia (Disabled Persons Organisations Forum) – Mozambique: The Forum will conduct ICT accessibility and compliance assessments of Mozambique’s state obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and work to build the capacity of disability rights organisations to advocate for accessible ICT for persons with disabilities including through the G3ict Digital Accessibility Evaluation Index. The findings and recommendations will form the basis of a stakeholder submission as part of Mozambique’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Global Voices – Sub-Saharan AfricaMiddle East and North Africa: Building on “Writing Toward Freedom: Politics and digital rights in Africa”, Global Voices will investigate identity-driven hate speech, disinformation and harassment in online spaces in Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia and Uganda. Through collaborative workshops, multilingual in-depth feature stories, and curated social media dialogue, the initiative will explore how language, culture, gender, religion and ethnicity affect digital spaces in the seven focus countries during politically charged periods, and how technology platforms regulate and moderate harmful content.

iWatch Africa – Ghana: This project will focus on tracking, documenting, and analysing online abuse and harassment against journalists and rights activists covering political and societal issues in Ghana. Based on the various cases, iWatch Africa will engage the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and policy makers to develop protocols for legal support for victims to seek redress.

Jamii Forums – Tanzania: In the run up to the general elections in Tanzania, Jamii Forums will work to enhance the digital security of 100 activists, journalists, lawyers, bloggers and human rights defenders, including raising awareness on digital vulnerabilities, the link to between digital vulnerabilities and physical/offline environments and effects on their work. A reporting and rapid response system will provide onward support in the elections period. The project will also feature stakeholder engagements on data protection and privacy, targeting law enforcement authorities and the communications regulator.

JP Media and Sobanukirwa – Rwanda: Based on Rwanda’s seven-year-old Access to Information Law and the five-year-old Sobanukirwa initiative, this project will research challenges to implementation of the law and uptake of the platform respectively, so as to promote increased citizens’ information requests, duty bearer responsiveness, and proactive disclosure.

Mzalendo Trust – Kenya: Building on its track record in promoting transparency and accountability, as well as citizen participation in legislative processes, Mzalendo will conduct research on the impact and perceptions of the Huduma Namba initiative in Kenya, run a public awareness campaign on data rights in Kenya and enhance the interactive functionality of its Dokeza platform.

Rudi International – Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo): Goma-based Rudi International will work to build a coalition of digital rights lawyers to support digital rights advocacy and strategic litigation efforts in the DR Congo’s fast-evolving but challenging telecommunications landscape. The lawyers, to be drawn from the four cities of Bukavu, Goma, Kisangani, and Lubumbashi, will benefit from ICT policy training, webinars, and connections to relevant regional and international fora.

Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) – Somaliland: Through a knowledge, attitude and perceptions (KAPs) survey, design thinking workshop, digital literacy training, and roundtable engagements on digital media in the context of conflict regions, SOLJA will work with media practitioners and law enforcement authorities to strengthen media freedom and combat hate speech and misinformation in Somaliland.

Zimbabwe Centre for Media and Information Literacy (ZCMIL) and the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) – Zimbabwe: This collaborative project will work to empower 120 grassroots-based citizen journalists in media and information literacy. Covering a range of topics, including ethical standards, information and news verification and fact-checking, as well as digital security, the project beneficiaries will be drawn from six localities (Bulawayo, Plumtree, Kwekew, Lupane, Gweru and Hwange) and are expected to support citizen voice and agency in rule of law, constitutionalism, improved service delivery and good governance.


The ADRF is an initiative of the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) with support from the Ford Foundation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the German Society for International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and the Omidyar Network.