June 28 2022 , Africa Meetup

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Africa Meetups

Date: Tuesday, June 28th

Time: 3pm SAST / 1pm UTC / 4pm EAT / 9am EDT

Who: Facilitated by Mardiya & Tawanda

Where: BigBlueButton link will be shared in the following rooms on the IFF Mattermost one or two hours before the start of the meeting: Sub-Saharian Africa.

Notes: Please put notes here: https://pad.riseup.net/p/africa-meetup

Notes

Eswatini

  • Tomorrow is the commemoration of the massacre in Eswatini that happened last year on the 29th June. As such Swati activists are organizing a march to remember the people who were killed.
  • The internet in Eswatini has been throttled and activists are using VPNs provided by the Digital Society Africa (DSA) team.
  • Human rights activists using digital media to share what is going on in Eswatini are currently protecting themselves by hiding. The activists shared that there's a potential internet shutdown ahead of tomorrow, and many of them have been arrested and tortured.
  • So far DSA has provided activists on the ground with digital security support.

How we can support Activists in Eswatini

  • Few people have not been able to engage in DSA’s programs thus leaving a gap in the security ecosystem in Eswatini.
  • Activists in the region call for support for the Mass Democratic Movement of Eswatini.
  • More inclusive training and capacity building initiatives need to be carried out.
  • The DSA’s capacity remains limited to handle all the training in the region i.e Eswatini, as such, the digital rights community needs to coordinate actors across Africa to provide support and identify ways to bridge this gap while expanding the capacity of DSA.

Follow up from last month

  • The Right to Protest and South African human rights commission challenged The City of Johannesburg’s policy that requires a fee to protest, which was ruled unconstitutional.
  • Currently, Rights to Protest and the Human Rights Commission are observing whether The City of Johannesburg will appeal the court’s decision. Afterwards they will monitor the implementation process of the ruling, which they hope does not cost either party more resources to pushback.

The Gambia

  • The National Internet Governance Forum in June focused on digital resilience, and they are working on data protection policies in the Gambia. After years of dictatorship, digital rights groups are reviewing the information communication act and pressuring the government to sign the malabo convention.
  • Meanwhile, Jokkolabs Banjul under the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) won an impact grant to implement a digital inclusion program in Gambia.
  • Regarding the homophobic tweets in Senegal, digital rights community members in the region are working with activists to support the queer community.

Burundi Updates

  • DIY (DUKINGIRE ISI YACU) in Burundi is calling for more support partners in the East African Region on digital security. There is a big gap in data protection for human rights defenders and the civil society in Burundi, as such, needing more capacity support for such groups.

Upcoming Gatherings

  • The internet freedom forum in Africa is taking place in Lusaka in September. Send in your session proposals using this link
  • Apply to attend the Africa Internet Governance in Malawi forum using this link