The development of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms is a Pan-African initiative to promote human rights standards and principles of openness in internet policy formulation and implementation on the continent. The Declaration is intended to elaborate on the principles which are necessary to uphold human and people’s rights on the internet, and to cultivate an internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.
The Declaration builds on well-established African human rights documents including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 1981, the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press of 1991, the African Charter on Broadcasting of 2001, the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa of 2002, and the African Platform on Access to Information Declaration of 2011.
The idea for an African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms was agreed at the 2013 African Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. A broader meeting was subsequently convened in Johannesburg in February 2014 to commence drafting the Declaration. This meeting was attended by participants from the following organisations:
- Africa Center for Media Excellence
- Africa Centre for Open Governance
- Article 19
- Association for Progressive Communications
- Collaboration on Internet ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa
- Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance
- Eduardo Mondlane University
- Global Partners Digital
- Institute for Social Accountability
- Internet Society Ghana
- Kenya Human Rights Commission
- Media Foundation for West Africa
- Media Institute of Southern Africa
- Media Rights Agenda
- Momoh, Momoh, Adamu & Co.
- Paradigm Initiative
- Protégé QV
- South African Human Rights Commission
- Support for Information Technology Center
- Web We Want Foundation
A smaller Drafter’s Group – led by Edetean Ojo (Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda) and involving Anriette Esterhuysen, Stephanie Muchai, Alimi Adamu, Nnenna Nwakanma, Charles Vieira Sanches, Sulemana Braimah, Joy Liddicoat, Beryl Aidi, Emilar Vushe, Gabrielle Guillemin and Polly Gaster – developed the text of the Declaration, based on feedback from the wider group, from an online public consultation (hosted on this website), and from many eminent individuals and organisations from a range of African and international stakeholders.
Our mission is for the Declaration to be widely endorsed by all those with a stake in the internet in Africa and to help shape approaches to internet policy-making and governance across the continent.
The Declaration will be presented at the African Union Conference of Ministers in charge of Communication and Information Technologies scheduled to take place during the first quarter in 2015.
*Disclaimer this Draft Africa Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms is still a draft and the positions contained within it do not necessarily represent the views of participating organisations.
For more information about the initiative please contact:
Dixie Hawtin, Global Partners Digital
Emilar Vushe, Association for Progressive Communications