Net Right Coalition
We have expanded the Net Rights coalition beyond Nigeria to become pan-African, this is in order to strengthen our collective voices for the respect of digital rights and addressing challenges in these areas of interest which include: freedom of expression online; data security and privacy; surveillance and transparency; business and human rights and more importantly to make the coalition more formidable to address challenges on Digital Rights. We believe there are a lot to learn from experts and advocates working on Digital Rights issues across various African countries. Therefore, the expansion means that we are now more formidable to deal with Digital Rights challenges in Nigeria and Africa as members from across various countries in Africa share their experiences and challenges.
On August 25, 2017, members of the NetRights coalition gathered in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss strategies for the passage of the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill. The Bill is expected to be read for 3rd reading when the Nigerian National Assembly resumes for its recess in September 2017. Therefore the meeting explored ways to ensure the passage of the Bill when it is ready for the 3rd time on the floor of the National Assembly. The Coalition discussed several strategies to be implemented to achieve this. The strategy discussed includes; Media Engagement, Leveraging on existing network, Rally, Infographics, and advocacy visits to members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.
Roundtable on Digital Engagement and Rights
Paradigm Initiative collaborated with the Presidency Office on Digital Engagement (PODE) to host a roundtable on Digital Engagement and Rights on July 20, 2017. The Roundtable was attended by 37 participants ranging from civil society actors and more of government agencies. Few security agencies were represented namely the Nigerian Army, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), The Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Some government institutions that attended were National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), The Ministry of Communications (NCC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and Special Assistants to the President/Vice President on Media, Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Rule of Law. Civil society representatives were Media Rights Agenda, BudgIT, PPDC, SERAP and the co-hosts, Paradigm Initiative.
There have been three policy briefs are titled I. Upholding Digital Rights in Africa II. Broadband Access in Nigeria; Not broad enough, Not qualitative enough III. Status of Surveillance in Nigeria: Refocusing the Search Beams released on August 30, 2017.