Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, with support from AccessNow, Google, Facebook, Civicus and Internews, will host this year’s Internet Freedom Forum in Abuja, on March 8 and 9, 2016. The theme of the pan-African event that will host delegates from Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, among others, is Rights are Rights, Online or Offline.
Internet Freedom Forum is an annual forum that creates a platform for conversations on indices around Internet Freedom around the world. Internet Freedom Forum 2016 (#IFF2016) focuses on indices around Internet Freedom in African countries and the need to codify citizens’ right online. “The Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, which seeks to codify online rights in Nigeria, will be reviewed at the forum and presented as a model for adoption by other African countries,” according to ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN).
The keynote for the event will be delivered by Nani Jansen, Legal Director at Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI). She has acted in freedom of expression cases before national and international courts, and human rights tribunals, including the European Court of Human Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the East African Court of Justice, the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“Several experts, Internet Freedom advocates, journalists and government officials from all across Africa have confirmed participation at the event,” according to Adeboye Adegoke, Program Manager (ICT Policy) at PIN. Some of the confirmed panelists at the event include Hon. Chukwuemeka Ujam, Vice Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications; Edet Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda; Titi Akinsanmi-Bolarinwa, Lead, Policy and Government Relations, Google; Ebele, Okobi, Head of Public Policy, Africa, Facebook; Ephraim Kenyanito, Sub-Saharan Africa Policy Analyst, AccessNow; Seun Onigbinde, Co-founder, BudgIT; popular blogger, Japheth Omojuwa; award-winning journalist, Tolu Ogunlesi; ‘Yemi Adamolekun, Executive Director, Enough is Enough Nigeria; and ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.
The Nigerian Minister of Communications, National Security Adviser, Director General of Department of State Security Service, and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission have been invited to provide government perspective to the conversation.
PIN’s Chief Operating Officer, Tope Ogundipe, urged interested individuals and organizations to immediately register on the event’s website, www.pinigeria.org/iff, “…because participation at the event is strictly by invitation. Successful applicants will be contacted by the #IFF2016 Secretariat at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, and application to attend will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis until February 20, 2016”.