May 24





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Paradigm Initiative at RightsCon

Paradigm Initiative is participating at RightsCon 2018 in Toronto, Canada. RightsCon holds from May 16 to May 18, 2018. Attending are Digital Rights Program Manager (Anglophone Africa), Boye Adegoke, the  Director of Programs, Tope Ogundipe, and the Executive Director of Paradigm ‘Gbenga Sesan,

Shared below are the three sessions we are organizing to help further conversation and cooperation on digital rights issues.

A- Session 47: Africa’s Digital Rights Secretariat: Net Rights Africa Coalition and its prospects

Date: May 17

Time: 16:00 – 17:00

Venue: Room 201A

Speakers: Sanja Kelly (Freedom House), Sheetal Kumar (Global Partners Digital), Julie Owono (Internet Sans Frontieres), Gbenga Sesan, Michael Moss (MLDI) and  Henry Maina (Article 19)

Moderator: Tope Ogundipe

Synopsis: The Net Rights Africa Coalition, originally a solution to solving a problem of digital rights in Nigeria by coming up with the globally-acclaimed Digital Rights and Freedom Bill for Nigeria, has now scaled Africa to replicate its successes across regions. In doing more of what it has done in the past, the Coalition seeks to recognize the prominent challenges of digital rights across African regions and work with a cluster of experts to resolve them. The Coalition is also currently being used as a feeder for the annual Digital Rights status in Africa report.

This session seeks to rally major experts on digital rights issues in Africa and have them discuss how to make this Coalition a bigger reality and success.


B- Session 45: Electoral Choices and Artificial Intelligence: The Need for Transnational Collaboration in Africa

Date: Thursday, May 17

Time: 17:15 – 18:15

Venue: Room 204C

Moderator: Adeboye Adegoke 

Speakers: Grace Githaiga (KICKTANet), Grace Bomu (KICKTANet), Henry Maina (Article 19), Titi Akinsanmi (Google).

Moderator. Adeboye Adegoke (Paradigm Initiative)

Synopsis: This session will focus on the intersection of civic participation, algorithms/artificial intelligence, and human rights. Patterning has become a key identifier of results especially as it has to do with machine learning. With the huge exchange of data in Africa and with no means of measuring for accountability, these patterns are said to open to several manipulations and even selection of predetermined choices of citizens especially during the performance of the most civic obligation of all – voting. Several pieces of evidence point to these facts in the past with respect to the US elections, the UK Brexit process and more recently in Kenya. More emphasis will be placed on Africa as a virgin ground and how this ground can be protected from the likely perversion of technologies to the detriment of the people.


C- Session 46: Litigating Internet Shutdowns in Africa: Identifying Blurred Lines and Roadmaps:

Date: Friday, May 18

Time: 09:00 – 10:15

Venue: Room 205C

Speakers: Titi Akinsanmi (Google),  Padraig Hughes (Media Legal Defence Initiative), Peter Micek (Access Now) and Gbenga Sesan (Paradigm Initiative)

Moderator: Boye Adegoke (Paradigm Initiative)

Synopsis: This panel discussion will address the proliferation of instances where states have blocked or partially restricted access to the internet, and civil society strategies to challenge internet shutdowns using litigation before domestic and regional courts.

Besides these sessions, our team members would also be participating in other sessions. You can follow @ParadigmHQ on twitter for a regular update on our activities at RightsCon.

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