Digital Literacy Initiative joined the seventh edition of the annual Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) was co-hosted by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and Paradigm Initiative (PIN), two organizations that seek to advance Digital Rights in Africa.
Due to the Covid19 pandemic, FIFA 2020 was held in a hybrid format, blending both physical and online interactions for a period of three days. The event explored discussions around the increasing challenges to Internet freedom in African countries, majorly Internet disruptions, unfavourable Internet digital policies and regulations, intimidation of online users and sometimes arrests.
A report was released by CIPESA on September 29, 2020 about the State of Internet Freedom in Africa 2020, focusing on the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) measures adopted by governments to contain its spread on digital rights and freedoms including freedom of expression and information, assembly and association, and the right to privacy.
The Covid19 pandemic heightened usage of digital technologies by people to fill the social and economic need gaps; such as online shopping, virtual schooling and remote working. The Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2020 explored diversely government responses and restrictions to the pandemic and how they infringe on fundamental rights of their citizens including digital rights such as right to privacy, freedom of expression and access to information. The Forum also dived into addressing online challenges that increased especially during the pandemic such as misinformation in forms of; unintentionally and intentionally-spread misinformation, fake news, unverified information, rumours, hate speech, among others.