Blog

An Attempt to Gag the Media’: Journalists on Nigeria’s Proposed Social Media Bill

By Jonathan Rozen

At a public hearing on Nigeria’s social media bill held in Abuja last monththe voice of Chris Isiguzo, president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), rang clearly across the room: “This bill…seeks to pigeonhole Nigerians from freely expressing themselves.” The NUJ is “totally opposed” to it, he said.

This strong opposition was echoed by multiple other civil society…

Covid-19 in Africa: When is Surveillance Necessary and Proportionate?

By CIPESA staff |

As the world grapples to contain the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance disease surveillance, coordinate response mechanisms, and promote public awareness has become more significant. This role of digital technologies is particularly crucial in sub-Saharan Africa where systemic vulnerabilities such as weak health systems and high levels of…

How Technology is Aiding the Covid-19 Fight in Africa

By CIPESA staff |

As the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to spread globally, various African governments have imposed sweeping measures such as travel bans, curfews, prohibition of mass gatherings, mandatory quarantines, closure of learning institutions, entertainment spots and borders to curb the pandemic. Some of these measures have boosted the use of digital technologies. But in some countries, responses are marred…

Huawei Says Its Surveillance Tech Will Keep African Cities Safe But Activists Worry It’ll Be Misused

By Samuel Woodhams |
In Europe and the US, tense debates have broken out over the national security ramifications of allowing Huawei to be involved in the construction of new 5G networks.
The UK has approved a limited role for the Shenzhen, China-based company in its upcoming wireless infrastructure despite sustained pressure from the US to exclude them. Part of the challenge is…

Outrage as Zimbabwe’s Military Declares Social Media a ‘Dangerous Threat’

By Kudzai Chimhangwa |
Is the country “now hurtling toward being a military state”?
In March 2020, Zimbabwe’s National Army Commander Edzai Chimonyo said that the military would soon start prying into private communications between citizens to “guard against subversion”.

Speaking at a military graduation course held at Zimbabwe Military Academy in Gweru, Chimonyo expressed satisfaction that the course had laid a proper foundation in the…

RSF Unveils 20/2020 List of Press Freedom’s Digital Predators

By RFS |
To mark this year’s World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, celebrated on 12 March, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is unveiling its list of press freedom’s 20 worst digital predators in 2020 – companies and government agencies that use digital technology to spy on and harass journalists and thereby jeopardize our ability to get news and information.

This list is not exhaustive…

DataMustFall: Vodacom Slashes Prices as MTN Users Must Wait Till Month End

By Sthembiso Lebuso |

The Competition Commission and Vodacom have come to an agreement that will see the communication service provider slashing data prices by up to 40% on April 1.

Meanwhile, MTN consumers will have to wait until the end of the month for the announcement on what they intend to do with their data prices.

Speaking at a joint press conference on…

Ethiopia: Communications Shutdown Takes Heavy Toll

By Tiksa Negeri |

(Nairobi, March) – The Ethiopian government should immediately lift the shutdown of internet and phone communications in the Oromia region. The two-month-long shutdown has prevented families from communicating, disrupted life-saving services, and contributed to an information blackout during government counterinsurgency operations in the area.

Since January 3, 2020, the authorities have disconnected mobile phone networks, landlines, and internet services in western Oromia’s Kellem Wellega,…

How can something so right be so wrong? Right to Information legislation is failing women in Africa

By Reyhana Masters |
In her contribution to IFEX’s series marking International Women’s Day, Regional Editor Reyhana Masters looks at how women are disadvantaged when it comes to accessing public information.
Access to information is considered essential to the right of freedom of expression in the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa. Right…

Silencing Critical Voices: Our Online Civic Space is Shrinking

By Digital Shelter |

Somalia had recorded steady growth in telephone penetration – with 7.6 mobile subscribers. However, internet penetration remains low – 2% as at 2017, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The adoption of technology has expanded civic space in the post conflict era, with social media platforms and blogs empowering journalists, activists and human rights defenders to document and report human abuses, mobilize…