Launch of an African Declaration on Internet Rights & Freedoms

4 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey


IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Internet and Human Rights


This panel will launch the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms. Building on the Windhoek Declaration, the African Broadcasting Charter, the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and, most recently, the African Platform on Access to Information, the Declaration is an initiative which aims to define and strengthen standards for the Internet in Africa. It aims to galvanize a movement in support of an internet environment which is accessible, locally relevant and which supports development.
Already more than 20 civil society organisations are involved in the initiative. A draft Declaration will be launched for public consultation in May 2014, and over the summer there will be a range of multi-stakeholder consultations across Africa. The final Declaration will be launched in September at the IGF and the Highway Africa – the launch is an opportunity to share the Declaration, invite new endorsements and build a wider conversation about how it can be used.

5 Mins: Welcome and Opening Remarks by Stephanie Muchai, Article 19 (chair).
10 Mins: Presentation – “Where are we, and where are we going: An African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms” By Edetean Ojo, Media Rights Agenda and Anriette Esterhuysen, Association for Progressive Communications
5 Mins: Comment on the Initiative By Getachew Engida, UNESCO
5 Mins: Comment on the Initiative By Towela Nyirenda Jere, Nepad
5 Mins: Comment on the Initiative By Auguste K. Yankey, African Union Commission
5 Mins: Comment on the Initiative By Ali Hussein Kassim, 3mice interactive media
50 Mins: Audience reactions and discussion. Key Questions are:
**What are the key internet rights challenges in Africa? Are there elements of the internet rights struggle that are uniquely African?
**How can we use the Declaration to develop a strong culture of rights and freedoms for the internet in Africa?
**What are the next steps to institutionalising the Declaration?
5 Mins: Wrap up and invitation to endorse Declaration by Stephanie Muchai

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

This proposal is submitted by:
- Dixie Hawtin
- Civil Society (Global)
- Global Partners Digital

With co-organisers:
- Anriette Esterhuysen
- Civil Society (Global)


- Gabrielle Guillemin
- Civil Society (Global)
- Article 19

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


The link to the workshop report

Type of session


Duration of proposed session

90 minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#Africa, #HumanRights, #InternetRights, #AfricaConnected, #ICT4D

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

• Edetaen Ojo
Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda
Civil Society
Y - Speaker contacted
Y - Speaker confirmed

• Anriette Esterhuysen,
Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications
South Africa
Civil Society
Y - Speaker contacted
Y - Speaker confirmed

• Getachew Engida
Deputy Director-General, UNESCO
Y - Speaker contacted
Y - Speaker confirmed

• Towela Nyirenda Jere
e-Africa Programme Manager, Nepad
South Africa
Y - Speaker contacted
Y - Speaker confirmed

Name of Moderator(s)

Stephanie Muchai, Article 19, Kenya, Civil Society

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Donja Ghobadi, Global Partners Digital, UK

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

The Declaration will be finalised 2-4 weeks before the IGF at which point it will be shared extensively with all internet stakeholders in Africa, and relevant actors from other regions to. So many participants in the room should already be prepared for a discussion on the draft. Edetaen Ojo (Media Rights Agenda) and Anriette Esterhuysen (Association for Progressive Communications) will both set the scene with an account about how the Declaration developed, and what the vision of the declaration is going forward. The African Union Commission, UNESCO and Google will then respond to the Declaration, stating how they will use the Declaration going forward. At that point the discussion will open to the floor for general thoughts and feedback. Stephanie Muchai is a very strong moderator, and well experienced in leading a discussion and encouraging active audience participation.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

We hope to engage a number of African hubs in the discussion, and will leave space for a number of remote interventions.

Background paper

background paper

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