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Vacancy: Community Manager

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Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a social enterprise that builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve livelihoods for underserved African youth. Our programs include digital inclusion programs – such as the Life Skills. ICT. Financial Readiness. Entrepreneurship (LIFE) training program and the Dufuna partnership – and a digital rights program. PIN’s operational headquarters is in Lagos, Nigeria, and maintains digital inclusion offices across Nigeria (Aba, Ajegunle, Kano) and digital rights offices in Yaounde, Cameroon; Accra, Ghana; Abuja, Nigeria; Arusha, Tanzania and Lusaka, Zambia.

Job Summary:

The Community Manager will oversee Paradigm Initiative’s digital rights and digital inclusion community engagement efforts, with a strong focus on resilience and consistency. 

Reporting To:

Chief Operations Officer

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Engage relevant national, regional and global institutions and stakeholders on issues around digital rights and inclusion in Africa
  • Plan, monitor, and evaluate the implementation of community mobilization activities
  • Analyse issues arising from community discussions and suggest appropriate measures to ensure timely implementation
  • Work with the PIN in-house team to deliver the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum
  • In consultation with the PIN Leadership Team, set up an External Advisory Group for the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum
  • Coordinate the development of budgets and lead fundraising for the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum
  • Manage Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum processes
  • Improve and manage Paradigm Initiative’s digital rights and inclusion community, including the NetRights coalition, event participants, partners and other stakeholders
  • Oversee the Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab (DRILL), in partnership with the Digital Rights and Digital Inclusion team leads
  • Work with both Digital Rights and Digital Inclusion teams to identify opportunities for community building
  • Provide community updates, including policy developments, legislative processes and other relevant updates, to relevant partners

Key Result Areas:

  • Build, grow and/or manage a resilient, consistent and effective Digital Right and Inclusion community for PIN
  • Mobilize funds for the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum
  • Develop and implement policies that enhance the community’s effectiveness and  organization’s output and services
  • Undertake other tasks in accordance with job expectations
  • Work with Communications to commission and execute media campaigns for DRIF and DRILL
  • Deliver relevant and timely policy updates to identified partners

Education, skill and experience:

  • Proven work experience as a Community Manager or similar role
  • Experience planning and leading community initiatives, including large pan-African/bi-lingual events
  • Ability to identify and track relevant community KPIs
  • Project Management
  • Understanding of budgeting, financial planning and financial reports
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and presentations skills
  • Attention to detail, critical-thinker and problem-solver

Salaries and Benefits:

Commensurate with experience, plus other benefits such as health insurance, pension contributions, communication allowance, sabbatical leave, paid annual leave, maternity/paternity leave, dependent relative allowance and 13th-month salary.

Application Deadline: 

May 15th, 2020

Resumption Date:

July 1, 2020

Apply here >>>

COVID-19: It is dangerous to block citizen’s access, PIN tells Nigeria and Ghana

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Paradigm Initiative has urged the government of Ghana and Nigeria not to block the telephone lines or access of citizens to emergency services in this critical time. A statement released by Ghana’s Ministry of Communications alleged that over 99% of calls made to the emergency line provided for COVID-19 response were prank calls and that the government will henceforth block prank callers. Unfortunately, the Nigerian government may be considering the same measures and more, having alleged that it is facing similar challenges. In a time as this, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Telecommunication companies (Telcos) have a huge responsibility to make their services available to aid information flow from and to the authorities, especially as there is a natural tendency for citizens to panic and seek answers to many questions they will have.

The worst response to imagine in the middle of this global pandemic, however, is denying access to users as a measure against irrelevant calls to COVID-19 emergency call centers. At this critical time, access might just be the thin line between life and death for many citizens. The government should expand its capacity to receive multiple calls and come up with innovative strategies instead of clamping down on citizens. This is not the best of times and it is not just important that rights are respected but the government must not introduce measures that complicate an already complicated situation. Nigeria and Ghana like many other countries in the world have acknowledged the challenges with the capacity to test broadly.  Therefore if the two countries must compare notes, it should be about increasing the capacity to test, isolate and treat confirmed cases, encourage social distancing, introduce welfare measures and ensure citizens are protected.

It is statistically impossible that 99% of calls to the emergency line are prank calls as alleged by Ghana’s Ministry of Communication. It is very easy to infer that panic calls, curious calls and calls from those who may not be symptomatic but have genuine fears are being categorized as prank calls. A prank call by definition is made to make a joke or play a trick. We do not agree with Ghana’s Ministry of Education that up to 99% of callers to the emergency centers are doing so just to play a trick or make a joke and even if it is so, it is a reflection of the panic and fear that makes people want to know if the number that is supposed to save their lives is working. It is important not to use the excuse of fake news around COVID-19 to clamp down on loud dissenting voices as that will be a major mistake at a time when we all need to work together on combatting misinformation, including encouraging those working to get life-saving information to citizens who need them.

We endorse interventions and support being offered by the private sector and volunteers to ensure that the government is not overwhelmed. We, however, strongly advise the government to avoid emotional reactions that may deny citizens, access to health care and essential services at a time when movements are being restricted. We also call on citizens not to panic but follow guidelines provided by the official Disease Control institutions in their respective countries and the World Health Organisation as we all seek to protect ourselves and our loved ones from being victims in this trying time.

 

 

 

Digital Surveillance: Should Rwandans be worried?

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By:  Leonce Muvunyi & Louis Gitinywa for Paradigm Initiative 


Collection, handling and sharing of data public information continue to dividing opinions as government embark on tapping into ICT solutions to ensuring safety.

Starting from May this year, the government of Rwanda has embarked on putting up the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras all around the main roads of the city of Kigali.

According to the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) and Rwanda National Police which are in charge of implementing this policy claim that use of CCTVs will significantly boost security by establishing a robust mechanism of deterring, preventing and detecting crime.

The Inspector General of Police Dan Munyuza indicates that the enforcement of cameras networks across the country, which is anchored into the special presidential directives,  is in line with ensuring the general public security.

“They are well advanced to the extent they don’t only capture the traffic speed, there those which monitor the violations of road traffic regulations, and there those that could run number plate recognition of vehicles, and we can see them from the commanding post here at the police headquarters,” said IGP Munyuza, during a recent interaction session with the media.

Online sources define a closed-circuit television (CCTV) as video surveillance type of cameras network system that enables surveillance by transmitting its signals only to the screens that are directly connected to it.

Apart from the CCTV Networks in Kigali City, the government has started enforcing the “traffic radars” on the highways connecting capital city Kigali with neighbouring countries since earlier in May this year, which will be over hundreds of traffic radars devices installed.

These include Kigali- Kagitumba as you connect to Kagitumba border with Uganda, Kigali- Rusumo on your way to Tanzania, Kigali-Nyamata-Nemba connecting with Burundi, Kigali-Muhanga-Huye- Rusizi going in the south-west border with Democratic Republic of Congo and Kigali-Musanze as you connect with DR Congo in the north-west.

In addition, the government has adopted a new policy along with a number of measures; the use of technology that would significantly improve road safety and security of its users. Government officials emphasize that all these measures add up on the Law Governing Information and Communication Technologies of 2018, which provides for prevention and punishment against cybercrime offences.

“We are going to roll out the installation of the radar countrywide with much emphasis made on the accidents spots. Some of them will be static whereas others will be mobile and placed on a certain area for a different purpose.”  Munyuza revealed that a survey that had been carried out on the roads had indicated several places, and it had suggested where all these cameras would be installed.

According to the head of Rwanda’s national Police IGP Munyuza, which is now under the docket of the newly reintroduced Ministry of Internal Security, CCTV data is collected through a dedicated private network which cannot be accessible over the Internet. The storage of this data is regulated by internal standard operating procedures of the Rwanda national police and the use of relevant tools to secure the IT environment.

However, there are some concerns about the process of collection, handling and sharing of personal data and risks of illegal surveillance through the use of CCTVs which continues to divide the public opinion.

In this context of the introduction of digital surveillance’s cutting-edge technological capacity, coupled with the massive development of the digital economy in both public and private sector requires the need to have a comprehensive data protection legal framework in place, to protect and promote the right to privacy.

Data collection in the wake of data scandals such as Cambridge Analytica and the 2018 Google data breach have culminated to public scepticism in ways of data in which data is collected and processed.

A great responsibility is placed on the state to protecting the privacy of citizens by implementing more comprehensive guidelines preventing government and corporations from overstepping their boundaries by articulating the rights and freedoms of people in digital spaces, meaning data subjects can request information about why and how their data is processed.

This is considering that today Rwanda is striving for the digital era with the proliferation use of biometrics and digitized public services. Furthermore, as the digital economy and cashless transactions are becoming increasingly common in the country. While these systems promote certain benefits, there is however insufficient focus on the potential consequences of the technology such as the collection and use of personal data for commercial purposes, and how this practice leads to algorithmic manipulation of human behaviour on the decision we make and the services we receive.

In the meantime, this recent development links up with the global debate about the ability of Silicon Valley’s GAFA to freely collect consumers personal data in developing countries without any regulations has raised questions and public concerns about the lack of a clear comprehensive legislation and a regulatory framework on personal data privacy and data protection in the country.

Although,  article 23 of the constitution of Rwanda of 2003 (revised in 2015), reaffirms the respect for privacy. Besides the constitution, other relevant laws like the penal code, the 2010 law relating to electronic transactions and the 2001 law governing telecommunications recognize and provides for some guidelines regarding the protection of privacy and personal data.

However, the right to privacy enshrined in the Rwandan constitution has yet to be operationalized, the existing ICT laws and regulations only recognize so far the user consent and opt-in mechanisms.

Moving through the Region, Kenya is so far the only country that has recently enacted a comprehensive data protection law. the Kenyan Act determines the need for any subject company to create a privacy policy that outlines why and how data is collected, its handling and sharing of personal information or data; among the groundbreaking statutes written into the law is the provision for a data protection commissioner; a mechanism that enables citizens and data subjects to ascertain whether their personal information is being processed in accordance with the applicable data protection legislation.

With regard to Analyticaprotection of privacy and personal data information, it is important to note that according to the recent figures published in 2019 by Rwanda Investigation Bureau it has been revealed that there were at least 113 cases of cybercrime particularly targeting personal data related to financial transactions. A figure that has doubled compared to the previous year of 2018.

Furthermore, based on the recent 2018 Africa Cybersecurity Report by Serianu Limited, the cost of theft of personal data in Africa was estimated at $3.5 Billion, a rise from 2016.

Experts indicate that the use of technology in public life should be centred around transparency and the rule of law. In particular, privacy and security as the pillars of trustworthy services that enhance the overall well-being of citizens.

The development and the implementation of smart cities and the safety and security policies must be done responsibly, with full understanding and mitigation of their impact on the citizens right to privacy and other constitutional rights.

While the rights to privacy and personal data are not absolute, they must be rigorously safeguarded, the right to privacy may only be limited through a law which regulates infringement. Although some databases can be used for legitimates purposes. However, there are many risks associated with collecting and storing the very information that constitutes an individual’s identity.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal shows us how damaging technologies can have a corrosive effect on privacy, the misappropriation of personal information can deny individuals their identity especially when data is collected without proper control or oversight. In many countries around the world, national privacy laws are increasingly being revised to strengthen the protection of personal data privacy and impose penalties for data breaches.

As Rwanda today is striving for the digital era with digitized public services with an open online portal like “Irembo”, cashless transactions, digitized citizens’ identity cards and passports.  Thus as the scale and the scope of digital economy development accelerates the demand for data is increasing.  Furthermore, in the context of the current vacuum of a comprehensive data framework, there is a heightened risk of data misuse.

Therefore it is imperative for the government to respond to public concerns around privacy with a robust legal framework for data protection that will enforce accountability towards the citizens over the use of their personal information by bodies or corporations that collect them.

The Authors:

Louis Gitinywa is Rwandan Lawyer. Before  joining the private practice in 2018,  he served as public Prosecutor at the Rwanda National Prosecution Authority for 6 years. He has been involved in many cases related to prosecution of economic crimes, and other criminal cases before domestic courts in Rwanda.

Muvunyi Leonce is Rwandan Journalist based in Kigali, he works at Nation Media Group as an Editorialist for Rwanda Today Newspaper and as a correspondent for the AFP covering the Great lakes region.

Poste: Chargé  de Communication

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Introduction

Paradigm Initiative est une entreprise sociale qui  favorise l’inclusion numérique par les TICs et défend les droits numériques afin d’améliorer les moyens de subsistance des jeunes défavorisés. À travers  nos bureaux au Nigéria (Aba, Abuja, Ajegunle, Kano et Yaba), au Cameroun, au Togo, en Zambie et en Tanzanie. nous travaillons au renforcement des droits numériques et à l’inclusion numérique en Afrique. Un plan d’expansion vers d’autres pays est en cours.

Description du Poste

Recherche, rédaction, correction, publication et diffusion d’informations sur Paradigm Initiative. Les informations seront utilisées pour diffusion interne à l’intention des employés et externe  à l’intention des partenaires, bénévoles ou pour des publications à grand public. Coordonner et fournir des ressources aux médias pour le compte de Paradigm Initiative.

Lieu du poste

Nigeria, Zambie, Tanzanie, ou Togo

Rôles et responsabilités

 

  • Communication

 

  • Assurer la liaison avec les autres membres du personnel et de l’équipe afin de fournir un excellent contenu web à utiliser sur les réseaux sociaux de Paradigm Initiative.
  • Fournir des conseils ou des compétences spécifiques aux équipes pour renforcer les aspects média et communication de tous nos programmes.
  • Gérer les supports  et réseaux numériques, à travers les programmes et les régions
  • S’associer à des développeurs Web pour concevoir et mettre en œuvre des solutions Web efficaces afin de favoriser les communications internes et externes.
  • Surveiller les installations Internet et Web.
  • Gérer les contacts avec les nouveaux médias dans toutes les régions.
  • Élaborer des stratégies de communication pour les projets et les clients de Paradigm Initiative Consulting.
  1. Gestion financière

 

  • Gérer les budgets alloués et réduire les coûts d’entretien des ressources numériques.
  • Effectuer toutes les tâches dans le cadre des budgets alloués.
  • Mobilisation de fonds pour l’organisation par le déploiement de compétences en médias numériques.
  • Veille  des réseaux de médias sociaux à la recherche de subventions et de possibilités de financement pour l’organisme.
  1. Gestion des affaires
  • Coordonner les réunions et entretenir les relations sur demande, en particulier avec les divers médias, tant sociaux que traditionnels.
  • Jouer un rôle actif dans les médias et la communication, le lobbying et le plaidoyer sur les questions liées aux programmes Paradigm Initiative à travers les médias sociaux.
  • Gérer les activités médiatiques et de communication dans le cadre du développement de tous nos programmes.
  • Élaborer des stratégies de communication pour les projets et les clients de PI Consulting
  • Identifier de nouveaux partenaires médiatiques stratégiques potentiels pour Paradigm et développer des stratégies pour travailler avec eux.
  • Aider le personnel et les partenaires de Paradigm Initiative  à faire passer des messages pertinents aux publics cibles à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de l’organisation sur les principales activités.
  • Assurer la liaison avec les partenaires actifs pour identifier et les aider à utiliser les rares occasions qui leur sont offertes de faire avancer les questions de plaidoyer de Paradigm Initiative dans divers médias au Nigéria.

    

  1. Gestion des médias

 

  • Cultiver les relations avec les principaux contacts des médias
  • Compiler et mettre à jour une base de données sur les médias et la communauté
  • Agir à titre de porte-parole public de Paradigm Initiative en assurant la liaison avec les médias et d’autres parties externes et en donnant des interviews
  • Surveiller l’analyse des sites Web et des médias sociaux
  • Suivre les contenus médiatiques liés au travail de Paradigm Initiative.
  • Assurer une couverture médiatique adéquate pour toutes les activités et fonction du programme
  • Identifier régulièrement les voies de communication et les possibilités de favoriser une communication efficace.
  • Effectuer des recherches et examiner tout le contenu du site Web et des plateformes de médias sociaux de l’organisation.

 

Qualifications, compétences et aptitudes :

  • Diplôme en communication, relations publiques, informatique, Science de l’Information et de la Communication, Systèmes d’information ou domaines connexes
  • Maîtrise de l’anglais et du français
  • Compétence avancée dans la gestion des médias sociaux et des systèmes de gestion de contenu
  • Expérience en stratégie de communication, gestion de projets et médias
  • Démontrer des compétences en relation avec les médias, de l’expérience dans la communication directe avec les organisations médiatiques et un niveau élevé de compétences en rédaction.
  • Faire preuve d’une compréhension étendue des enjeux et des politiques en matière de TIC au Nigéria
  • Expérience en matière de renforcement des capacités et/ou de formation très avantageuse
  • Pensée créative, développement, conception ou création d’idées, de relations, de systèmes ou de produits nouveaux, y compris des contributions artistiques.

 

Rémunération

En fonction de l’expérience et des compétences

 

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What next for Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (2013 – 2018)?

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By Babatunde Okunoye

The development community in Nigeria became excited in 2013 when the Federal Government announced a national broadband plan to guide government policy towards broadband development in Nigeria. Nigeria’s national broadband plan was published amidst wide publicity and interest from stakeholders in the country and abroad.

Among the signature targets of the National Broadband Plan was the 6-fold increase of Nigeria’s broadband penetration from 5% to 30% and the inward spread of broadband fibre infrastructure into Nigeria’s cities and town in the nation’s hinterland.

As the deadlines for targets for the broadband plan approached, it was time for evaluation and although the Federal government claimed it had achieved its planned 30% target for broadband, experts in civil society and the private sector differed, with some suggesting the correct figure was closer to 10%. Government, civil society and private sector actors, however, agreed there’s still much more work to be done to expand broadband access in the country. It was clear a plan post-2018 was necessary, yet till now (Q2 2019), there doesn’t seem to be a clear policy direction from government on a post-2018 national broadband plan.

The National Broadband Plan 2013 – 2018 was an extremely useful policy document in the development of broadband in Nigeria. And although there are differences of opinion between civil society, the private sector and government on the extent of its success, there is no doubt that the Broadband Plan did make substantial contributions to the development and access to broadband in Nigeria.

In light of the importance of reliable and affordable broadband access to the development of Nigeria, it is important that conversations on a post-2018 be restarted. It’s Q2 2019 already and a survey of the policy landscape in Nigeria shows that there have not been any publicly visible plans or conversations towards a post-2018 Broadband plan.

The rebasing of Nigeria’s economy in 2013 showed the tremendous progress the nation had made in diversifying its economy. Nigeria’s economy was revealed to be the largest in Africa, overtaking South Africa. A key contributor to this new reality was the contribution of telecommunications and telecommunications-enabled services. The Internet, for instance, has enabled new forms of commerce and economic activity which has lifted many out of poverty and created a new army of technology-entrepreneurs.

Key to sustaining this new growth sector is expanding broadband access to the widest possible population in Nigeria. The starting point for this endeavour is a policy document, which guides the actions of all stakeholders towards this laudable goal. The National Broadband Plan (2013 – 2018) initiated a process which, although had its challenges, has left a positive footprint on the nation’s development. In light of the importance of fast and reliable broadband access to national development, it is in the best interest of the nation that plans for a post-2018 broadband plan are accelerated, and all stakeholders in government, civil society and the private sector coalesce effort to achieve this goal.

 

Babatunde Okunoye leads research at Paradigm Initiative.

Paradigm Initiative Condemns the Arrest and Deportation of Wakabi by Tanzanian Authorities

By | Press Release, Uncategorized

Paradigm Initiative condemns the arrest, detention and subsequent deportation of the executive director of the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Dr Wairagala Wakabi by Tanzanian authorities.

Dr Wakabi was arrested, detained and detained upon arrival in Tanzania yesterday, April 25. According to a statement released by CIPESA, Dr Wakabi was in Tanzania to participate in the annual commemoration of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’ Day on the invitation of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC). Dr Wakabi is a renowned human rights advocate and researcher and we believe that his unacceptable treatment in Tanzania is a further indication of Tanzania’s increasingly hostile attitude to the human rights community.

This is not the first time that Tanzania has mistreated human rights advocates. In November 2018, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists Africa program coordinator Angela Quintal and sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumowere were arrested, detained and deported from the country with the false claim that the duo were in Tanzania without proper visas. Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) had previously expressed concern over the arrest of other 11 human rights activists in Tanzania. Tanzanian police have accused of raiding a legal consultation meeting, convened by the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (Isla) and Community Health Services and Advocacy (Chesa), in Dar es Salaam. 

The continued assault on activists and advocates is unacceptable and we call on the African Union and other regional bodies to prevail on the Tanzanian government to respect the fundamental human rights of its citizens and guests. Paradigm Initiative asks the government to immediately address its shameful treatment of Dr Wakabi. It is in the government’s own best interest to acknowledge human rights defenders as viable stakeholders in democratic spaces and that civic spaces are a natural extension of the community that must be nurtured not crushed.

Groups Sue Gbenga Olorunpomi and Lauretta Onochie Over “Hate Speech”

By | Press Release, Uncategorized

Two Civil Society organizations, Enough is Enough Nigeria and Paradigm Initiative have instituted a case asking the court to declare comments made by some political aides in Nigeria as Hate speeches.

Relying on documentary evidences gathered from online comments made by the two affected aides, Gbenga Olorunpomi, Aide to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Lauretta Onochie, Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, the organizations through their lawyer are asking the court to determine if the statements violates sections of Nigeria’s Cybercrime(Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 .

However, due to the elusiveness of the Defendants and their addresses, the Court favoured that the court processes should be advertised in national dailies. This was subsequently done on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 in two leading National Dailies with national spread

According to Adeboye Adegoke, Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative, “the two organizations filed the case as a measure to curb the spread of hate speeches in Nigeria, a trend which is mostly associated with the political class. While their principals may not be less guilty of similar accusations, Governors and Presidents are however protected from prosecution by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. It is, however, significant that those political actors with links to power are being challenged for comments made at several times. The usual trend in Nigeria was for the political class to use their position to persecute citizens, journalists, activists and opposition whom they deem too critical of power under the guise of fighting hate speech or fake news.”

“If hate speech is to be curbed in Nigeria, then the prosecution must start from the political class who has always gotten away with inciting statements some of whom have led to crisis and deaths of many in the past.” Says Adeboye

The case is expected to come up for hearing at the Federal High Court Abuja today, Thursday, March 14, 2019.

Mr President, It’s time to sign the Digital Rights Bill

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By Sodiq Alabi

 When the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill (HB490) was transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on February 4, many Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief. The digital rights advocacy community across the globe was ecstatic, and understandably so. The Bill is the first law dedicated to protecting digital rights and online freedom anywhere in Africa. If signed, the Bill will catapult Nigeria to the comity of nations leading the charge for the protection of digital rights and online freedom. Key amongst its provisions are the provisions on data privacy, free speech, press freedom, lawful interception and surveillance. 

The Bill has had a long journey to getting to the President’s table. First proposed and extensively discussed within the civil society and rights advocacy community during the 2014 Internet Freedom Forum hosted by Paradigm Initiative, it was not until 2016 before the Bill was tabled before the House of Representatives thanks to an exemplary civil society-legislature collaboration. Sponsored by Hon. Chukwuemeka Ujam, the Bill spent almost two years in the House before it was passed in December 2017.

When the Senate concurred with its sister-chamber in March 2018, supporters of the Bill assumed the Bill’s legislative journey had ended. Unfortunately, the Bill remained with the National Assembly for another eight months without its transmission to the president. Apparently, the National Assembly’s legal unit had flagged a problem in one of its clauses, therefore leading to another round of the legislative process. The affected clause was corrected and the revised Bill was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly in November and December 2018. Two months later, on February 4, 2018, the Bill was sent to the president for his assent as required by the constitution.

The constitution also requires the president to assent or decline assent to a bill within thirty days of receiving the bill from the legislature. We are now roughly two weeks from the end of this countdown. While the nation is engulfed in organising federal and state elections, it is crucial that important government business like the signing of a crucial piece of legislation does not suffer as a result. We urge President Muhammadu Buhari and his staffers to find the time, in between preparations for the elections, to study the Bill and have it signed before the deadline. This would be a commendable demonstration of the robustness of our presidential system and its ability to keep the country running even in the face of a crucial election for its leader.

As Paradigm Initiative, the group that leads the advocacy for the passage of the Bill said in a statement, President Buhari has a history of signing forward-looking Bills including the #NotTooYoungToRun and the Disability Bill. The Digital Rights Bill falls into this category of Bills as it provides clear legal backing for online freedom and digital rights in an era when the digital space has become central to life. Paradigm Initiative’s Adeboye Adegoke is therefore right when he said, “If signed, the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill will add to what appears to be a forward-looking disposition of the administration to policymaking. What President Muhammadu Buhari does with the Bill will go a long way to define the administration’s disposition towards technology and its viability in improving the economic base of Nigeria.”

The last few years have seen tens of millions of people connected to the internet in the country. These people conduct business, have a social life, learn and teach via this important tool. They even campaign for political candidates and are campaigning to via the internet. However, despite the deployment of the internet across the country, Nigeria, unfortunately, lacks a comprehensive legal framework that protects human rights online, a situation that makes Nigerians online vulnerable to rights abuse. It is therefore easy to agree with Web Foundation when they declared that, “Nigerians cannot wait any longer for digital rights, freedoms and opportunities. The President’s Assent is urgently needed to secure fundamental rights, to support a stronger digital economy, and to build a more secure internet.”

Digital rights are human rights and by signing the Digital Rights Bill into law, President Muhammadu Buhari would give much-needed protection to these crucial rights. It is time to make history, Mr President.

Sodiq Alabi leads communications at Paradigm Initiative.

Leveraging the Gains of Multi-stakeholder Process to Cybersecurity Policy

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By Boye Adegoke

Cybersecurity is a big and important subject all over the world. In Nigeria, the work became cut out as Nigeria grappled with the scourge of Cybercriminals popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo at the turn of the Millennium. While the innovations that gave the world the likes of Facebook, Google, Apple, Huawei and other forms of innovative technology were being celebrated all over the world, Nigeria was grappling with managing its image as it appears many young people in Nigeria have sadly embraced the negative side of technology and are becoming renowned worldwide as cybercriminals. The damage done is yet to be fully salvaged. According to a 2018 Nigeria Cybersecurity Outlook released by Deloitte, “Social engineering attacks conducted via emails, SMS and calls still the number one threat being faced in Nigeria as at today. Also, it is not enough to just know more about   trends or attacks, it is about putting the right measures in place so as to be better prepared to defend against them”

Nigeria has since taken many steps to address the scourge by aligning with other efforts globally such as establishing the Computer Emergency Response Teams known as NG Certs. In February 2015, the Government adopted the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy prepared by the Inter-Ministerial Committee coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser. A few months later, Nigeria passed the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015 which entered into force on 15th May 2015. The purpose of the Act is also to promote cybersecurity and cybercrime prevention, and it provides for obligations to the private sector. Many stakeholders especially from civil society have criticized this law and are seeking judicial intervention to dislodge some parts of the law which are deemed non-right respecting. Also, there is an ongoing process to repeal and re-enact this law by the Legislative Arm of the Nigerian Government. The ongoing process is also being criticized as non-transparent because many stakeholders feel left out. The need for effective cross-stakeholder collaboration is widely recognized, as required in cybersecurity policy formulation process, with numerous international instruments reinforcing the message.

What’s clear about Nigeria’s approach is that it has been largely driven by concerns around security issues as well as implications for National security and business. Meanwhile, Cybersecurity has relevance to individual users as much as it does for Nations and businesses. This is why greater stakeholder involvement in cybersecurity policy development process is very important. Civil society concerns have usually been around how human rights concerns are often jettisoned or deemed inconsequential in cybersecurity policy development. Internet security threats are complex, and they affect multiple stakeholders, therefore, they require coordinated efforts to be adequately addressed. Constitutionally guaranteed rights must be respected in the cyberspace i.e. the rights that apply offline must also apply online. From an individual perspective, cybersecurity isn’t limited to freedom from cyberattacks but includes the right to privacy, right to freedom expression and protection of personal data; communication etc. this hardly makes it into the country’s cybersecurity agenda. This disregard for human rights may not be unconnected with the gaps that exist in the composition or the stakeholder mapping that currently exists.

The Important role that all stakeholders have to play in ensuring that the governance of cyberspace remains open, inclusive, and sufficiently flexible to adapt itself to changing risks and challenges must be emphasized. Users are increasingly distrustful of the internet, and that poses a challenge to its future. “Users’ trust is at the core Internet-driven business landscape. Immediate steps to enhance users trust must be taken. Governments must ensure that users trust is not broken online by ensuring there’s a transparent and multi-stakeholder approach to the development of cybersecurity policies and strategies. A truly multistakeholder approach to National Cybersecurity Strategy Development is poised to address this gap drawing on real-life examples of good practices in other climes. Governments, including military and intelligence sectors, could benefit from increasing their awareness of the multistakeholder nature of the Internet and the vital importance of cooperation with other stakeholders to address security threats.

In conclusion, we must move away from paying lip-service to the idea of a multistakeholder approach to cybersecurity policy development process. There must be a genuine effort to make the process inclusive to capture different stakeholder group who are affected and can bring invaluable insight to the process.  The more robust the inputs and the process is, the better the outputs. It must be noted however that the multi-Stakeholder approach is not a kill switch that addresses all the problems in a swipe; it is, however, a fundamental approach that is able to give all stakeholders a sense of belonging and gives an opportunity to capture nuances, local context into the process; The approach is widely accepted as the optimal way to make policy decisions for a globally distributed network. The United Nations Internet Governance Forum embraces multistakeholder approach model and the model has also been adopted by a growing number of international organizations. The model will help to create a veritable platform for a multi-stakeholder conversation, knowledge sharing and learning in Nigeria around cybersecurity policy development and implementation.

 

Adeboye Adegoke (@adeboyeBGO) is Paradigm Initiative’s Digital Rights Program Manager for Anglophone West Africa.

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#KeepItOn : vers une élection sans internet au Sénégal?

By | Advocacy, Digital Rights, Uncategorized

Par Emmanuel Vitus

Le Sénégal est le seul État d’Afrique occidentale, îles exceptées, à ne pas avoir subi de coup d’état depuis son indépendance, en 1960. La transparence et stabilité qui ont toujours marqué les échéances électorales ont contribué à faire du pays un exemple régional. Mais le prochain scrutin présidentiel s’annonce dans un climat tendu caractérisé par la montée en puissance des «Fake News» et des discours de haine en ligne.

Alors que la campagne électorale a débuté depuis une semaine, sur les réseaux sociaux, les campagnes de dénigrements et de désinformations sont au firmament. Pour contrer le phénomène, le gouvernement a annoncé l’adoption de nouvelles dispositions contre la diffusion des «Fake news» et des discours de haine sur internet.

Mais déjà, plusieurs voix s’élèvent aussi bien dans la société civile que du côté de la presse.

Même s’ils reconnaissent de façon unanime l’urgence de mettre un terme à l’hémorragie des «Fake news», les professionnels des médias craignent que la nouvelle loi à adopter ne restreigne l’espace de la liberté d’expression ou ne soit instrumentalisée par les pouvoirs publics pour museler la presse.

Aussi, plusieurs tribunes ont été commises par des journalistes sénégalais pour alerter l’opinion sur les risques de censures et d’extrapolation des accusations de «Fake News» que les pouvoirs publics pourraient porter contre tout Sénégalais dès que leurs intérêts seront menacés.

Peine d’emprisonnement

Du point de vue juridique, c’est l’article 255 du code pénal qui réprime la diffusion des «Fake news» au Sénégal. La disposition punit d’une peine d’emprisonnement de trois (3) ans et d’une amende de 100000 à 1500000 FCFA la «publication, diffusion, divulgation ou reproduction, par quelque moyen que ce soit, de nouvelles fausses, de pièces fabriquées, falsifiées ou mensongèrement attribuées à des tiers (…) lorsque la publication faite ou non de mauvaise foi, aura entraîné la désobéissance aux lois du pays ou porté atteinte au moral de la population, ou jeté le discrédit sur les institutions publiques ou leur fonctionnement».

Selon la loi sénégalaise, en cas de diffusion de «Fake news», le mandat de dépôt est obligatoire (art 139). De même, les auteurs pourraient être frappés d’une interdiction de séjour sur le sol sénégalais durant cinq (05) ans au plus.   

Article 27, l’épée de Damoclès

Bien que le gouvernement ait annoncé à plusieurs reprises ne pas vouloir entraver la liberté des Sénégalais, l’article 27 d’un projet de loi portant «Code des communications électroniques», déjà adopté en conseil des ministres le 6 juin 2018, laisse des doutes sur la sincérité des engagements du pouvoir public à laisser l’internet ouvert lors du prochain scrutin.

Dans un de ses alinéas, il stipule, entre autres, que «l’Autorité de régulation peut autoriser ou imposer toute mesure de gestion du trafic qu’elle juge utile pour, notamment préserver la concurrence dans le secteur des communications électroniques et veiller au traitement équitable de services similaires».

Cette clause selon la société civile, témoigne à suffisance de la volonté des autorités étatiques de livrer les Sénégalais au diktat du régulateur et des opérateurs lors du prochain scrutin.

Perte évaluée à 3 milliards

Si le gouvernement de Macky Sall venait à couper l’internet le 24 février prochain, près de 10 millions d’internautes seront déconnectés du monde sans compter les conséquences sur la vie socio-économique du pays.

Une journée de coupure d’internet au Sénégal coûtera environ 5849015 dollars US soit environ 3370101532 CFA par jour selon les estimations de Netblocks, une plate-forme qui évalue l’impact économique des coupures d’internet à travers le monde. C’est un minimum parce que l’estimation ne comprend pas les paiements mobiles, les transactions du secteur informel et les recettes fiscales.

Une probable coupure constitue un danger pour le développement de l’économie numérique pour la jeunesse de ce pays en particulier. Cette jeunesse ambitieuse, en quête de revenus qui s’activent dans l’entrepreneuriat numérique.

Aussi, une éventuelle coupure constituerait un frein au développement de toutes les entreprises sénégalaises et couches sociales qui dépendent du numérique.  

Vivement que le Sénégal, reconnu mondialement pour ces politiques progressives, maintienne l’internet ouvert lors du prochain scrutin pour l’intérêt de ses 16 millions d’habitants, car la liberté d’expression et de communication est une liberté fondamentale pour toute démocratie.

 

Emmanuel Vitus est membre de Google Policy chez Paradigm Initiative.

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