Open Internet News

20th May 2020

Burundi Goes to The Polls As Authorities Clampdown on Social Media

By Daniel Finnan |
Burundians went to the polls on Wednesday to choose a new president, parliamentarians and local councillors. However, voting was marked by a social media shutdown in the country and complaints about irregularities by the opposition.

Ruling party flagbearer Evariste Ndayishimiye told journalists that the elections were taking place in a secure environment. “Anyone wanting to disturb them will pay…

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19th May 2020

Ethiopia’s Hate Speech and Disinformation Law: The Pros, the Cons, and a Mystery

By Berhan Taye  |

The change in government in Ethiopia has garnered people unprecedented civil and political liberties. In previous years, when the press and broadcast media were censored, social media gave Ethiopians, like many around the world, the autonomy to speak, organize, mobilize, and challenge the government’s narrative. However, amidst all of these changes, one thing has remained the same: authorities are still challenging the…

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CIPESA Joins Call Urging Burundi Gov’t To #KeepItOn During Elections

Joint Letter |

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) has joined 30 international human  rights advocacy groups of the #KeepItOn coalition in urging authorities in Burundi to ensure that the May 20, 2020 elections will be void of any network disruption of digital communications  and to enable voters to freely elect their leaders.
The state of internet freedom in Burundi has…

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17th May 2020

Biometrics Support Financial Services Efficiency in Malawi, Nigeria and Ghana as UNHCR Ramps Up in Niger

By Frank Hersey |

The biometrics business continues as normal in parts of Africa. A new ePassport agency opens in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, despite closed borders and social distancing requirements. Idemia appoints a new East Africa sales director, soon after its good news in Kenya. Nigeria connects more bank accounts to national IDs, Malawi strikes off over 4,000 potential ‘ghost pensioners,’ and at the humanitarian end of the spectrum, the…

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15th May 2020

Uganda’s Social Media Tax Undermining Covid-19 Fight

By Juliet Nanfuka |

Globally, in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID19), social media has played various roles, such as  filling information vacuums and providing channels for citizens to demand accountability and transparency. In Uganda, the government and other agencies have utilised social media as one of the avenues for disseminating information to citizens, including providing status updates on…

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14th May 2020

ZOLs Staffers Ask Subscribers To Share IDs Via WhatsApp – A Ticking Time Bomb

By Farai Mudzingwa  |

Zimbos are a pretty relaxed bunch when it comes to guarding our privacy on the internet. I got a gentle and unwelcome reminder of that a few hours ago.
What happened?
A ZOL staffer or someone with access to an official ZOL support line initiated a call to one of my colleagues. On the call, they requested that my colleague send…

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11th May 2020

Refugee Children Hard Hit by Coronavirus School Closures

By Lilly Charlisle |
Going to school was already a daily challenge for many displaced children around the world. Now there are fears some may not return after COVID-19 lockdowns lift.
Isai* missed two years of school while his family was avoiding social unrest in his home country of Nicaragua and then fleeing first to neighbouring Honduras, and later to Guatemala.

At the age…

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4th May 2020

The Digital Economy and Ecommerce in Africa: Drivers for the African Free Trade Area?

By Alastair Tempest |
The digital economy and ecommerce are developing fast in Africa. The forthcoming implementation of the African free trade area (AfCFTA) will encourage intra-African trade. These two forces combined, offer a new inclusive future for Africa.

Summary:

Ecommerce is growing throughout Africa, but is mainly nationally focused at present. The AfCFTA will change that dynamic, and encourage greater emphasis on cross-border…

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