#DRIF19: Stakeholders discuss digital rights, inclusion in Africa (LIVE UPDATES)

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#DRIF19: Stakeholders discuss digital rights
#DRIF19: Stakeholders discuss digital rights

Oladeinde Olawoyin

The 2019 edition of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum enters its second day this morning in Ikeja, Lagos. Participants from across Africa and beyond would take part in today’s event.

Paradigm Initiative, Ford Foundation, Google, Henrich Boll Stiftung, and Premium Times — the major partners for the conference — plan to use this year’s edition to trigger debates on “tough topical global issues around inclusion and digital rights in Africa”.

This edition promises to host 352 delegates from government, civil society, business, academia, media and the private sector, from 38 countries. Of the countries, 32 are from Africa.

Stay on this page for today’s updates.

The Keynote panel features the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, Gbenga Sesan; Executive Director, Human Rights Watch Africa Division, Segun Mausi; and Head of the Senegal Country Office, Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA), Hawa Ba. Mr Sesan says he has “burning question” to ask the panellists.

Mrs Segun said she was driven to fight for the rights of people because of the lapses in the Nigerian legal redress system. She gave an account of how a 40-day old baby was raped in Ogun state and she could not get justice for the baby because of legal impediments.

“I am glad about Ethiopia,” Mr Sesan said of the Ethiopian experience, adding that he would have been glad if such was the experience in other African countries.

Mrs Ba explained the various inclusion challenges in Senegal and other francophone countries on the continent. She argued that inclusion also gives her hope about the rights of women and the use of internet.

Another panellist from Ghana who just joined the conversation, Emmanuela, explained how internet shutdown was averted in Ghana some years ago.

Emmanuela, from the Ghanaian Cyber Security Centre, said the country is now making legislation to ensure that issues of digital rights, inclusion and shutdown are engraved in the law.

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