Lagos, Nigeria – [August 28, 2020] – Today, Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is thrilled to announce the upcoming 8th edition of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF) taking place between the 12th and the 30th of April 2021. DRIF21 will be a distributed multi-country festival of in-person convenings that communities can join virtually. This edition will kick off with a virtual open day on the 12th of April 2021 followed by in-country day convenings across Africa.
DRIF is an important platform where conversations on digital policy in Africa are shaped, policy directions debated and partnerships forged for action. It hosts diverse skills and capacities for enhancing digital rights and inclusion on the African continent and beyond. As PIN’s flagship platform for communities of practice around digital policy, DRIF continues to set the tone as the arena for tough topical global issues around digital rights, privacy, access, digital tools, violations, digital empowerment for underserved communities and similar themes — especially in Africa — and consolidating views from civil society, technology companies, government, academia and other stakeholders.
According to ’Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director at PIN, “the Paradigm Initiative team is excited about the opportunity to bring the digital rights community together through a blend of virtual and physical interactions, because as we saw from the early days of the global pandemic, violations of citizen rights have continued—and in some cases, heightened.”
Commenting on the development, Paradigm Initiative’s Chief Operating Officer, Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu said: “It is important to discuss lessons from how various countries respond to data governance challenges during moments of panic, how freedom of expression fares in the face of dangerous disinformation and how the civic space could thrive in the midst of lockdowns. We look forward to the multi-country conversations at the 8th edition of DRIF and can’t wait to work with partners and participants on identified action opportunities!”
Past editions have been held at a single location attracting diverse members of civil society, the technical community, academia, government and private sector for shared engagements.
“Hosting DRIF21 in a number of African countries will present a great opportunity for celebrating the diversity that comes with a growing network of digital rights and inclusion advocates. The DRIF21 model will offer a series of enriched conversations that will unpack issues and help shape the strategies on improving the digital landscape in Africa,’” PIN’s Community Manager, Thobekile Matimbe, said.
“We are excited to take DRIF to our communities this time around, literally bringing the Forum to our partners and participants as we continue the important conversations around digital policy on the continent,” added the Chief Operating Officer, Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu.