Why are African Governments Criminalising Online Speech? Because They Fear Its Power.

By Nwachukwu Egbunike |

Africa’s landscape of online free speech and dissent is gradually, but consistently, being tightened. In legal and economic terms, the cost of speaking out is rapidly rising across the continent.

While most governments are considered democratic in that they hold elections with multi-party candidates and profess participatory ideals, in practice, many operate much closer dictatorships — and they appear…

Lessons on Flying from the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa

By Jason Pielemeier |
“Since men have learned to shoot without missing, we have to learn to fly without perching” — African Proverb
By citing these words in his opening message, Dr. Wairagala Wakabi, the Executive Director of the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), captured both the daunting reality and the irrepressible optimism surrounding the state of Internet…

Emerging Challenges and Data-driven Solutions for a Connected Future at FIFAfrica18

By Netblocks’ Writer |

ACCRA, GHANA – At the 2018 Forum for Internet Freedom in Africa, NetBlocks is demonstrating new tools and methodologies to defend human rights, empowering local communities and creating a space for open and progressive policies for internet access and telecommunications.

In a joint panel on data-driven advocacy on Friday, NetBlocks along with partners Access Now, CIPESA, the GNI and ISF, soft-launched the Cost of…

Zambia Introduces Daily Tax on Internet Voice Calls

By Daniel Mwesigwa |

The government of Zambia is set to introduce a daily levy of 30 Ngwee (USD 0.03) on internet voice calls. In a press statement issued after a cabinet meeting on August 12, 2018, the government spokesperson said internet calls through platforms such as Viber, WhatsApp and Skype “threaten the telecommunications industry and jobs” in licenced telecom companies such as…

Mali: Internet Mobile Inaccessible Avant les résultats de la présidentielle (AFP)

Mali News Update |

Internet était inaccessible jeudi matin à Bamako sur les réseaux mobiles, quelques heures avant la proclamation du vainqueur de l’élection présidentielle, ont constaté des journalistes de l’Agence France-Presse.

“Ma 3G ne marche pas depuis hier soir. Le Wifi à la maison, sur une ligne fixe Malitel marche plutôt bien pour le moment”, a indiqué en début de matinée…

Why Uganda’s Government Should Take a Different Path to Social Media and Mobile Money Taxation

Statement |

There has been widespread concern over newly introduced levies on social media access and mobile money transactions in Uganda, which are widely considered a threat to internet access and affordability, as well as to freedom of expression and access to information. The effects of the taxes that took effect on July 1, 2018, were the focus of discussions at a recent stakeholder dialogue  organised by the Collaboration on…

Unmasking Digital Security Threats facing Human Rights Defenders in Uganda and Tanzania

By Lillian Nalwoga |

Technology presents various challenges to the protection of human rights such as the lack of adequate avenues to verify authenticity of information shared, violation of the right to privacy, respect to copyright issues and the right to anonymity among others.  With a shrinking civic space in Uganda and Tanzania, Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) need to be more…

MLDI to Host a Strategic Digital Rights Litigation Workshop at FIFAfrica18

Announcement |
Litigation has been recognised as a potentially effective tool in removing restrictions on the free flow of information online in countries with repressive internet regimes. Increasingly, some initiatives are seeking to encourage collaboration among different actors in strategic litigation for a free and open internet.
Indeed, various cases in litigation for the respect and realisation of digital rights have recently been recorded in Cameroon, Kenya, Burundi and Gambia, among…

The Reforms Ethiopia Needs to Advance Internet Freedom

Policy Brief |

Since April 2018, the new Ethiopian government has been undertaking unprecedented political and economic reforms. This follows countrywide protests that forced the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn to resign in February 2018, leading to the appointment of a young and charismatic new premier, Abiye Ahmed two months later. Since then, the government has freed thousands of prisoners; announced measures…

Challenges and Prospects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Africa

Policy Brief |

Privacy is a fundamental human right guaranteed by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its article 12 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in its article 17. Further, these provisions have been embedded in different jurisdictions in national constitutions and in acts of Parliament.

In Africa, regional bodies have invested…