Paradigm Initiative, a digital rights advocacy group, says marginalised communities in Africa are becoming more alienated from the rest of the world.
PIN’s Community Manager, Thobekile Matimbe, made the assertion in a statement on Wednesday to welcome over 400 delegates from 42 countries, including 32 African countries, to PIN’s ‘Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum 2021’.
“Marginalised communities in Africa have become more alienated from the world,” Matimbe said.
According to her, many African communities have been left behind at a time when digital rights are clearly an enabler for the fulfilment of human rights.
“We need to deliberate on bridging the digital divide in our African countries and share insights on protecting the digital space,” Matimbe added.
The DRIF is a yearly forum that brings together diverse experts to shape conversations around digital policy, digital inclusion, freedom of expression, access to information, privacy, internet access and many other thematic areas.
In 2020, the event was cancelled as a result of the reality of the COVID-19 operating environment.
The 2021 edition is coming at a time most countries are finding their digital momentum while working towards a world beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.
“In many African countries, 2020 saw the introduction of new laws and practices that did not consider the digital rights of citizens,” the Executive Director of PIN, ‘Gbenga Sesan, said.
“To make sure that our new normal does not encourage a climate of clampdowns in the name of public safety, it is important for civil society organisations to collaborate across issue areas and countries, and this is why we are excited to work with country hosts from 12 African countries and multiple virtual event hosts to deliver the 2021 edition of the forum,” he added.
The DRIF21 is billed to hold in 12 African countries, from April 12 through 30.
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