Friday 31st, March 2023: Plans are in top gear for the 10th Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF23) in Nairobi, with key speakers confirming attendance for the event, which takes place between April 12th to 14th, 2023.
The forum will be graced by Emma Inamutila Theofelus, Namibia Deputy Minister for Information Communication & Technology (ICT); Grace Githaiga Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Convenor, KICTANet; ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative; Vladimir Garay, Advocacy Director, Derechos Digitales, and Lawrence Murugu Mute, former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (2017-2020) and former Vice Chairperson of the African Commission on human and peoples rights (2017-2019).
At the same time, more than 500 delegates have registered for the Pan-African bilingual event that will be held at the Sarova Stanley Hotel. The 2023 in-person forum will be hosted in collaboration with Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) and Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) established under Strathmore University. KICTANet is a multi-stakeholder think tank in Kenya for ICT policy and regulation. CIPIT is an evidence-based research and training Centre based at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya.
So far, the event sponsors are the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ford Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, Google, Open Technology Fund and the Global Network Initiative (GNI).
Paradigm Initiative will be hosting key partners from Internews, the Global Digital Inclusion Partnership, Derechos Digitales, the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), Inclusive Tech Group, Access Now, Data Privacy Brazil, Defend Defenders, Youth and Society, Tech Societal, the Global Network Initiative, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, MTN and the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law, to mention a few.
PIN, which is a leading Pan-African Digital Rights and Inclusion organization, has convened DRIF since 2013. The forum, whose theme is Building A Sustainable Internet For All, will bring together representatives from government, non-governmental organizations, academia, media, funding partners, the United Nations, the technical community, and the private sector within the digital ecosystem.
The forum will host 70 sessions with partners from over 40 countries across the world. Sessions will focus on, among other themes, Internet shutdowns, Universal Service Fund utilization, data protection, content moderation, and censorship. Also lined up at the event are key launches of research, platforms, and networks.
Ms. Thobekile Matimbe, PIN’s Senior Manager, Partnerships and Engagements said the confirmed speakers and number of delegates who have registered for the event is a pointer of the importance of the forum.
“The interest the forum has received so far from speakers and delegates worldwide clearly shows the event is timely and necessary. We look forward to hosting delegates and hope the exciting launches and deliberations will empower all stakeholders to do their part in the advancement of Internet freedom,” she added.
Last year’s DRIF under the theme, Towards a Digitally Inclusive Africa was a hybrid event that was able to reach over 1,300 individuals. Physical sessions were hosted in 17 African countries.
The event will be livestreamed on our YouTube Page, ParadigmHQ
Paradigm Initiative (PIN) connects underserved young Africans with digital opportunities and ensures the protection of their rights. We have worked in communities across Nigeria since 2007 and across Africa since 2017, building experience, community trust, and an organisational culture that positions us as a leading social enterprise in ICT for Development and Digital Rights on the continent.
Across our regional offices in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and beyond, we have impacted youth with improved livelihoods through our digital inclusion and digital rights programs. The organization’s programs include Life Skills. ICT. Financial Readiness. Entrepreneurship (LIFE) training program, Dufuna, a digital readiness workshop for girls, and life at school club program.
PIN has also built online platforms that educate and serve as safe spaces for reporting digital rights violations. These mediums, in the form of reports, short films, and educational online platforms, include Ayeta, Londa, and Ripoti.