Cyber Stewards Network (CSN) partner Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released a report outlining the policies and practices surrounding Internet freedom in East Africa. Titled “The State of Internet Freedoms in East Africa,” the release of the report has drawn key individuals from the continent’s ICT industry to Kampala, Uganda for a forum. The day’s programme can be found here.
The report investigated the use of information and communication technology in the region, as well as government control over politically sensitive content. The report covered Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. CIPESA identified issues such as inadequate online safety skills, as well as the absence of data protection and privacy laws in all six of the countries investigated. In instances where the right to information and freedom of the press are enshrined in constitutional law, they are often negated by other laws or obstacles to implanting legislation that would see them upheld.
Today, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) launches The State of Internet Freedoms in East Africa research report which is an Investigation into the policies and practices defining internet freedom in East Africa.
Thought leaders in the East African ICT industry have gathered in Kampala, Uganda for the launch of this pivotal report.
The report presents the findings of an exploratory study on the state of internet freedoms in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The research reviewed policy developments and actions related to internet freedoms over the period 2010 to April 2014.
As the day progresses, emerging themes will be explored by the attendees who will share their early thoughts on the findings as well as explore issues related to internet freedom in East Africa.
The report can be found here.
See the day’s programme here.
By Juliet Nanfuka
Recently introduced laws and regulations in Uganda have caused a stir both within the country and internationally for restricting citizens’ rights to freedom of expression on the internet and offline.
The most contentious of these are the Anti-Pornography Act 2014, the Public Order Management Act 2013, the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, the 2014 Press and Journalist regulations and the Non Government Organisation (NGO) Amendment bill. They are criticised for creating unwarranted restrictions to liberties granted by the country’s 1995 constitution.
As a result, the space in which civil society, the media and citizens can enjoy constitutionally granted rights to freedom of expression, opinion, assembly, and information is steadily shrinking.
In an April 2014 brief, CIPESA takes a look at how the recently enacted laws and proposed amendments impact on citizens’ rights, including internet rights, as well as on the work of human rights defenders. Read the full brief here.