Individuals and communities have the right to development, and the Internet has a vital role to play in helping to achieve the full realisation of nationally and internationally agreed sustainable development goals. It is a vital tool for giving everyone the means to participate in development processes.
Developing media and information literacy is essential in ensuring that consumers of media products have the skills to find evaluate and engage with various types of information, including those relevant for their social, economic, cultural and political development. Information and communication technologies should be designed, developed and implemented in a manner that contributes to sustainable human development and empowerment. Accordingly, policies should be adopted to create an environment which enables various actors to pursue initiatives in this regard. Media and information literacy programmes should be instituted in schools and in other public institutions. Where practical, school children and other learners should have access to Internet-enabled devices. There is also a need for policies that improve girls’ access to quality education and ICT, gender mainstreaming in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) policies, and family-friendly policies in STEM workplaces.
A coalition of some 35 civil society organisations has written to several international bodies including the African Union and the United Nations Human Rights Council over the recent internet shutdown in Togo.
The report presents the findings of a study on what governments are doing to inhibit citizens’ access to ICT, for example content blocks, censorship, filtering, infrastructure control, law-making, court cases; how governments are using ICT activity and data to monitor citizens; and how government bodies and functionaries are using propaganda, impersonation, threats, cloning, and other tactics to shape online conte