Paradigm Initiative has opened applications for the 8th Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (#DRIF), April 21 – 23 2020. The Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (#DRIF) has become an important platform for shaping conversations at the intersection of human rights, development and digital technologies in Africa.
The Forum has in the past welcomed digital rights activists, telecommunications industry professionals, government officials with oversight over telecommunications policy, members of the academia and many more. The venue of #DRIF20 will be communicated in due course.
Tope Ogundipe, Director of Programs, Paradigm Initiative, stated, ”From 2019, #DRIF has expanded conversations from only digital rights to now include digital inclusion themes. This broadening of the conversation ensures that the widest possible audience possible is co-opted into the conversations at the forum. Whether it’s affordable broadband access in Nigeria, or the rising tide of internet shutdowns in Africa, or the increase in the uptake of biometric and surveillance technology on the continent, or how mobile technology is shaping development in Africa, the expanded scope of conversations at #DRIF ensures that the most pressing issues are on the table, and that all voices are heard.”
Rigobert Kenmogne, Program Officer, Digital Rights, Francophone Africa, Paradigm Initiative, noted, ”#DRIF20 affords ample space for conversations around digital rights and inclusion in East Africa. East Africa has been in the spotlight for developments in digital rights in Africa in recent years, particularly with Ethiopia regularly shutting down the internet, and with the high profile national identity scheme (Huduma) in Kenya. #DRIF20 will provide an important platform for civil society and other actors from these regions to collaborate on effective responses to these regional themes.”
Rigobert Kenmogne, Program Officer, Digital Rights, Francophone Africa, Paradigm Initiative, added, ”the Francophone region of Africa has seen a lot of developments in recent years at the intersection of digital technology, human rights and development. For instance Chad, after many months of a social media black-out, recently restored social media access in what had been the longest national social media black-out in Africa. Developments in Francophone Africa will definitely be a point of focus at #DRIF20”.
Tope Ogundipe, Director of Programs, Paradigm Initiative, stated, ”#DRIF20 will feature conversations on some of the most important trends across all regions of Africa and beyond on the intersection of human rights, development and digital technologies. This builds on the success of #DRIF19 held in Lagos, Nigeria, which attracted over 300 delegates from 38 countries who deliberated in 26 sessions. #DRIF is a bilingual forum which caters for a diverse audience with translation services provided in English and French.
Applications to attend #DRIF20 can be made here while side-session proposals can be made via http://bit.ly/DRIF2020Sessions . Selected delegates and side-session proposal organizers will be contacted after the close of applications on December 31 2019.
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