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Internet Access and Affordability

Access to the Internet should be available and affordable to all persons in Africa without discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Access to the Internet plays a vital role in the full realisation of human development, and facilitates the exercise and enjoyment of a number of human rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of expression and information, the right to education, the right to assembly and association, the right to full participation in social, cultural and political life and the right to social and economic development.

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By Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), December 2016

Although in a number of countries the gender dimension of the digital divide has been bridged, this is not so in Nigeria where there is huge differential between men and women in terms of access and use of the internet. Within the country, it is worse in the states in the northern parts of the country. This is due to a number of factors including culture, religion, education and attitude.

In an effort to understand this and to develop appropriate strategies for digital inclusion of women in the region, CITAD undertook a pilot research aimed to understand the factors that inhibit the effective use of the internet by women in the north. This paper is part of the research undertaken in Bauchi and Keno, with support of APC, which funded the project with a subgrant.

The report presents the findings of a study on what governments are doing to inhibit citizens’ access to ICT, for example content blocks, censorship, filtering, infrastructure control, law-making, court cases; how governments are using ICT activity and data to monitor citizens; and how government bodies and functionaries are using propaganda, impersonation, threats, cloning, and other tactics to shape online content in their favour.

Full country reports are available for ten countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The research was conducted as part of CIPESA’s OpenNet Africa initiative (www.opennetafrica.org), which monitors and promotes internet freedom in Africa.

A fresh, public-interested assessment of the zero-rating of certain applications (apps) and platforms in the African mobile prepaid environment is overdue. This policy paper examines the issue of zero-rating within the contexts of the range of discounted and dynamically-priced African mobile network operator (MNO) products, and the priority public policy issues facing the continent in relation to the Internet. The research is based on a four country assessment-Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

The key research – and indeed policy – issue underlying this paper is the extent to which African MNO zero-rating strategies for OTT services produce pro-poor outcomes, i.e., the extent to which these strategies enhance affordable access to the Internet. In addressing this question, this paper draws on a combination of the limited empirical fragments in the debate on zero-rating and the extensive pricing data collected across 50 African countries by RIA.

Authors: Alison Gillwald, Chenai Chair, Ariel Futter (South Africa), Kweku Koranteng (Ghana), Fola Odufuwa (Nigeria) and John Walubengo (Kenya).

This research was carried out by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) as part of the OpenNet Africa initiative (www.opennetafrica.org), which monitors and promotes Internet freedom in Africa.

The report presents the findings of a study on what the government in Uganda is doing to inhibit citizens’ access to ICT, for example content blocks, censorship, filtering, infrastructure control, law-making, court cases; using ICT activity and data to monitor citizens; and how government bodies and functionaries are using propaganda, impersonation, threats, cloning, and other tactics to shape online content in their favour. Other country reports for Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as a regional State of Internet Freedom in Africa 2016 report, are also available.

This research was carried out by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) as part of the OpenNet Africa initiative (www.opennetafrica.org), which monitors and promotes Internet freedom in Africa.

The report presents the findings of a study on what the government in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is doing to inhibit citizens’ accessto ICT, for example content blocks, censorship, filtering, infrastructure control, law-making, court cases; using ICT activity and data to monitor citizens; and how government bodies and functionaries are using propaganda, impersonation, threats, cloning, and
other tactics to shape online content in their favour. Other country reports for Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as a regional State of Internet Freedom in Africa 2016 report, are also available.

Over the past years, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been actively engaging in local, regional, national and international matters with or against the public and private sectors ever since their genesis. This paper examines the role of NGOs in Zimbabwe by analyzing the dynamics of ICT on NGO relations and their direct causal effects on the promotion of sustainable development. Through a qualitative secondary study approach which was enabled through a content analysis, the paper illustrates various factors affecting the sustainability of ICT for NGOs in Zimbabwe. The paper explores the challenges being faced by NGOs in trying to maintain sustainable
development through the usage of ICT and web-enhanced tools in Zimbabwe. The paper establishes that government interference, financial instability, poor infrastructure, low technical expertise among citizens, effects of HIV/AIDS, desire to maintain status quo constrained the implementation of ICT by NGOs to achieve sustainable development.

This is a joint stakeholder contribution to the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism for Uganda. It focuses on women’s rights and the internet in Uganda. It explores the extent of implementation of the recommendations made in the previous cycle of the UPR and also identifies emerging concerns in Uganda regarding women’s rights online.

Restrictions on internet access – commonly known as internet shutdowns – in north-west and south-west Cameroon are now in their 14th day. The restrictions ordered by the government of Cameroon, which have been in effect since 17 January 2017, have specifically targeted Anglophone regions, reportedly following protests against the marginalisation of Anglophone Cameroonians’ cultural and linguistic rights by the government. APC notes these shutdowns with grave concern.

This article presents observations about trends over the past three years in African ICT policy, human rights and development processes, highlights of key challenges and opportunities; as well as recommendations for African citizens on what can be improved.

«The internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the conduct of the powerful, access to information, and for facilitating active citizen participation in building democratic societies.»

 

This report identifies critical barriers that must be overcome in just four short years to achieve the SDG connectivity target, and sets out the steps governments, regulators, businesses and civil society organisations must take now.

To download the report click here

This a report by the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development Working Group on Broadband and Gender. The report reveals that almost three quarters of women online have been exposed to some form of cyber violence, and urges governments and industry to work harder and more effectively together to better protect the growing number of women and girls who are victims of online threats and harassment.

Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) looked at internet rights and democratisation, with a focus on freedom of expression and association online. This Special Edition, analyses more than 60 country and thematic reports in order to better reveal and build understanding of the broad range of practical actions and strategies that activists are developing.

Natasha Msonza from Her Zimbabwe shares her views on women's experiences online, this post was written during her participation in the Gender and Internet Governance Exchange program in Addis Ababa, 2015.

Maha Jouini is an Addis Ababa-based Tunisian blogger, and women’s rights and indigenous rights activist, with a special focus on the Amazigh community. She collaborates with the Campaign to End Child Marriage and is on the executive board of the Regional Coalition of Women Human Rights Defenders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). She is also a translator for Global Voices. APC’s Leila Nachawati interviewed Meha in Addis Ababa during the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) in September.

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) conducted an interiew with Ashnah Kalemera, who is the programme officer at the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), an organisation that works in promoting effective and inclusive ICTs in Africa. In the interview she highlights the importance and relevance of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms.

Internet access and affordability is one of the principles of the Declaration (Principle 2). In this blog, Yolanda Mlonzi, a South African International Relations and Media Studies student, provides a personal perspective on the issue of this key principle of the Declaration and why having affordable and accessible internet is so important for her and her education.

This is a blog post by Kembabazi Gloria who holds a Bachelor's Degree in Law from Uganda Christian University where she also completed the Honour's College Leadership Program. She has worked as a Mentor Fellow with Educate!. She is currently a trainee in Legal Practice at Law Development Center (LDC) Uganda and works with the Department of Law Reporting, Research and Law Reform. She is passionate about women's rights and their inclusion in social transformation. In her blog she takes the reader through the context of Uganda and how Internet Policy is understood in that context.

This paper is a joint stakeholder contribution from the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Association for Progressive Communications (APC), and Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) to the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism for Uganda. This submission focuses on women’s rights and the internet in Uganda. It explores the extent of implementation of the recommendations made in the previous cycle of the UPR and also identifies emerging concerns in Uganda regarding women’s rights online.

This is an issue paper by the Association for Progressive Communication which seeks to unpack issue areas around the growing digital divide that persists to take place, the paper further tries to provide remedies on how to shrink this gap. The cornerstone of the paper is shaped by the belief that affordable and reliable internet access has become a vital means to exercise fundamental human rights and to support economic, social and human development.

The Association for Progressive Communications, APC, organized a Global Meeting on Gender, Sexuality and the Internet in Port Dickson, Malaysia, bringing together 50 participants from six continents comprising gender and women’s rights activists, LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex) movements, internet and technology rights organizations, and human rights advocates. The goal of the meeting was to bridge the gap between feminist movements and internet rights movements and look at intersections and strategic opportunities to work together as allies and partners. In thinking through these issues, the participants at the meeting developed a set of 15 feminist principles of the internet. These are designed to be an evolving document, and you can join the discussion and debate on the evolving set of feminist principles of the internet here: http://erotics.apc.org or email erotics@apc.org

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