Individuals and communities have the right to use their own language or any language of their choice to create, share and disseminate information and knowledge through the Internet. Linguistic and cultural diversity enriches the development of society. Africa’s linguistic and cultural diversity, including the presence of all African and minority languages, should be protected, respected and promoted on the Internet.
The linguistic and cultural diversity which exists on the African continent must be promoted and reflected online. This requires states to put in place comprehensive policies, and allocation of resources, to support the development and use of tools to facilitate linguistic diversity on the Internet. This includes the promotion of technology and content required to access and use domain names, software, services and content in all languages and scripts. Special attention should be given to promoting access in minority languages. There is a need to promote free or low-cost training opportunities and methodologies and materials for minority-language speakers on using the Internet. Diversity of content should also be preserved and promoted, including by encouraging diverse groups and communities to share their content online and through the digitisation of educational, scientific and cultural heritage.
Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) looked at internet rights and democratisation, with a focus on freedom of expression and association online. This Special Edition, analyses more than 60 country and thematic reports in order to better reveal and build understanding of the broad range of practical actions and strategies that activists are developing.