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Roselyn Ifeoma Micheal: The skills I acquired from L.I.F.E has set me on the path to success

By | AbaLIFE, Advocacy, AjegunleLIFE, Digital Rights, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E., Uncategorized

I got to hear about the training through a friend who graduated from the training earlier. The change I saw in her was what motivated me to join the training. I had my fears as I hadn’t touched a computer before, but she assured me that it would not be a problem as the instructors will guide me through the steps and processes. Based on her encouragement, I picked the form and passed through the selection process, and was among the selected few.

During the training, I was nervous when it came to handling the mouse or practicing what was taught. But thankfully, the trainers and officers at the center were so understanding and they helped me overcome my phobia which made the learning process easy.

I was impacted by the training in so many ways. Before the training, I believed acquiring digital skills was meant for extraordinary minds, but all those perceptions were changed during the training as I saw myself doing things I couldn’t have imagined doing before joining the training.

This was not only in digital skills, even the entrepreneurship skills classes exposed me to things I did not know about. Like generating ideas that can change my community, and then my social and communication skills were not left out as I have moved from a timid girl that I used to be to a bold person that can address any gathering comfortably now.

I am so grateful that the skills I acquired from this training have set me on the path to success since I left the training. I will proudly say that with the help of the skills I got, I now work as a secretary in a law chamber and the salary has helped me in contributing to the upkeep of my house making my family more proud of me.

Asma’u Mu’azu: I am now Running my Business without Losing Money but Making a Profit.

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Digital Rights, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E., Uncategorized

After secondary school, I attended vocational training where I learned how to make handbags. I had been making the bags for some time but I later realized that I was not making a profit. This was because I didn’t know how to properly run my business.

My sister advised me to join the DakataLIFE program at Paradigm Initiative. I joined the 2017C class where I learned how to use the computer. I liked the graphic design classes because I learned how to design logos and letterheads. The part of the training that really helped me in running my business was the Build Your Business (BYB) entrepreneurship classes.

Since finishing the program, I have continued with my bag-making business, and with the help of the knowledge I got from the program I am now running my business without losing money but making a profit. I now know how to advertise my bags online through WhatsApp groups. I used to think WhatsApp was only for Chatting but now I know how to use it to grow my business. The training has really made an impact on my life because I am now more self-confident to advertise my product. I am also making money so I can be self-reliant.

With the experience, I got during the training I can say “Always believe in yourself because if you don’t, then no one will believe in you”. Thanks to paradigm initiative.

PIN Joins Civil Society Organisations in Myanmar to say ‘NO’ to the current Internet Shutdown in the Country

By | Advocacy, Digital Rights, ICT Policy, ICTs, Uncategorized

Dear mobile operators and internet service providers in Myanmar, Right now, more than ever, the internet is integral to our survival. Without it we cannot stay connected with each other and the outside world, which heightens the risk for human rights violations against us.

Given this, we are writing with regards to your adherence to the shutdown of social media platforms. On February 3, 2021, mobile operators, international gateways, and internet service providers (ISPs) received a directive from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to block Facebook; on February 5, 2021, an additional directive was received to block the social media platforms Twitter and Instagram.

These directives were given by an illegitimate authority body – by engaging in an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power, the military does not have the right to be recognized as the governing body of Myanmar. By complying with their directives, your companies are essentially legitimizing the military’s authority, despite international condemnation of this very body.

Further, the rights to freedom of expression and information are protected under general international human rights law. As evidenced in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, any restrictions to freedom of expression must be necessary and proportionate to achieving a legitimate aim. With COVID restrictions and ongoing security risks in the country, the people of Myanmar rely on social media platforms to share their voices with each other and the world. The blocking of social media platforms with the intent to silence Myanmar people’s dissent cannot be perceived as a legitimate aim.

We call for mobile operators and ISPs to take every action available to appeal the recent junta directives. Telenor has stated that the directive has a legal basis under the Myanmar Telecommunications Law but this is questionable. Section 77 of the Telecommunications Law authorizes the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MOTC) in case an “emergency situation arises to operate for the public interest,” to direct a telecommunications licensee to
suspend service or “intercept or not to operate any specific form of communication.” According to the International Commission of Jurists, Section 77 is incompatible with international human rights law and standards on freedom of expression and information, which in turn brings into question the validity of the MOTC order.

Additionally, we understand that telecom operators are required to report on requests for personal user data. We would like assurance that your companies are only disclosing information related to life-or-death situations. Facilitating the military’s surveillance of activists and journalists puts them at severe risk.

Finally, we would like to remind all operators that under the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights, you have a duty to not enable or contribute to potential human rights violations. Shutting down an important means for the nation to communicate with one another and bear witness is part of the military’s strategy to illegally retain power, and would thereby allow for potential human rights violations to take place with impunity. To uphold your duty:

  • Mobile operators and ISPs must prevent the military from accessing user data.
  • Mobile operators and ISPs must take every action available to appeal the recent junta directives.
  • Mobile operators and ISPs must develop plans in the event the human rights situation in Myanmar deteriorates.

Your services and actions are needed by the people now more than ever.

Regards,
Myanmar Civil Society Organizations working on:
Human Rights,
Peace and Federal Democracy,
Justice and Accountability

 

Paradigm Initiative deeply concerned over proposed internet broadcasting regulations in Lesotho

By | Uncategorized

Paradigm Initiative is deeply concerned over the proposed Internet Broadcasting Regulations announced by the Lesotho Communications Authority. As stipulated in the Lesotho Communications Authority (Internet Broadcasting) Rules, 2020 sections 5(1) (c) and 38(2) of the Communications Act No. 4 of 2012, the Authority intends to regulate internet broadcasting and content distributed over internet networks for users with over 100 followers or internet posts that are accessible to over 100 users, whether posted  individually or in a series.

In addition, account holders with over 100 followers will be required to register and comply with the principles and standards set out in the Broadcast Act of 2004.

According to the regulator, this move is meant to enable them to regulate the sector and  carry out investigations on internet broadcasts that contravene broadcasting rules and subsequently facilitate the removal of such content.

According to the regulations, the rules shall apply to all internet broadcasting initiated from, targeted to or received in Lesotho and that are accessible to a large number of internet users and shall not apply to internet broadcasting regarded as private communication.

The regulations describe Internet posts as ‘any message, whether text, picture, video or audio that is placed or uploaded on any internet platform to be accessed by the public, be it on social media or website.

As advocates for online freedoms, we see this move as a direct attack on the online freedoms of many Basotho and an attempt to criminalise free speech and police the online space.

The proposed regulations go against the guarantees on Freedom of Expression in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Lesotho under Article 14 (1)  which states that ‘Every person shall be entitled to, and (except with his own consent) shall not be hindered  in  his  enjoyment  of,  freedom  of  expression,  including  freedom  to  hold opinions   without   interference,   freedom   to   receive   ideas   and   information without  interference,  freedom  to  communicate  ideas  and  information  without interference  (whether  the  communication  be  to  the  public  generally  or  to  any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence.’

Rose Moremoholo a former Media Fellow at Paradigm Initiative notes that the move borders on suppression of people’s freedoms to freely access the internet and information without fear. “Holding power accountable is an element that is being threatened by these rules, we know that internet freedom is a human right and as such should be respected and protected at all costs,” she said. 

In addition, the proposed regulations contradict the principles of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedom and Article 19 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulates that ‘Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.’

We urge the Lesotho Broadcasting Authority to halt this process and withdraw these proposed regulations. Further, we urge the authority to institute consultations with relevant stakeholders in the local internet ecosystem on how best to proceed.

For more information about this statement, please contact: media@paradigmhq.org

 

<<< Read Paradigm Initiative’s last report about the Digital Rights Landscape in Tanzania >>>

Vacancy: Community Manager

By | Uncategorized

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 >>>

Digital Surveillance: Should Rwandans be worried?

By | Uncategorized

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

By | Uncategorized

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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Veuillez remplir le formulaire d’inscription ici

Date de clôture : Jusqu’à ce que le poste soit occupé

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

By | Uncategorized

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.

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