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Paradigm Initiative brainstorms on Internet Freedom

In order to bring attention of the public to important issues confronting digital rights such as data privacy, internet shutdown, access to the internet, among others, Paradigm Initiative is hosting Internet Freedom Forum.

From Monday to Thursday, the city of Abuja will play host to the annual forum coming at a time when many Africans fear for their freedom online.

According to Paradigm Initiative, the Lagos-based organisers of the Forum, Tope Ogundipe, the forum is a platform where experts deliberate on issues relating to digital rights and inclusion.

Being the sixth edition of the forum, delegates from thirty different countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Cameroon, Togo, United Kingdom and the United States are attending the event.

The Forum will also be live-streamed to the whole world to encourage virtual participation.

Speakers at the Forum will include Ayisha Osori, the author of Love Does not Win Elections, Tolu Ogunlesi, Nigerian President’s Special Assistant on Digital Media, and Titi Akinsanmi, Head, Government Relations and Public Policy at Google.

Others are Dapo Olorunyomi, the publisher of Premium Times, Akua Gyekye, Facebook’s Public Policy Manager, and Afef Abrougui of Ranking Digital Rights.

IFF2018 provides an important platform to discuss issues that bother many Africans. The sessions and side-sessions at IFF 2018 cover some of the most pertinent themes relating to digital rights and inclusion in Africa. These include, How to Ruin Elections in Africa, Cybercrime Laws and Freedom of Expression, Bridging Gender Knowledge Gap in Wikipedia.

The forum will also discuss the state of internet in various African countries, Gender, Open Data and AI: Intersecting for Digital Equality, Empowering Human Rights Defenders in Digital Era In Africa and Building a Healthy Internet in Africa, Director, Ogundipe stated.

The Forum, which holds at NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, is supported by organisations including Microsoft, Ford Foundation, Google, Facebook, Premium Times, The Guardian and Civicus. Session organisers at the Forum include Amnesty International, Web Foundation, BudgIT, and Mozilla.

The range and depth of the discussions which have taken place at previous editions of the IFF have positioned the IFF as one of the premier platforms for shaping the conversations and policy outcomes on the Internet in Africa. The diversity of conversations also caters for the diverse range of participants within the continent and beyond, and across civil society, the private sector, academia, government and other stakeholders,Ogundipe concluded.

Source: Voice of Nigeria