One of the defining events of 2020 was the global COVID-19 lockdowns. Although this was a time in which governments required heightened trust, in order to work with everyone to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, some African governments were criticised for using COVID-19 as an excuse to pursue various clampdown agendas.
Digital rights violations continue across the countries in Africa were not left out during the season. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, digital technologies have become increasingly essential to everyday life across Africa. With day-to-day activities moving online, connectivity has become imperative to keep the world moving. This transition and for some, lack thereof, has further exposed the widening digital divide and growing vulnerability of under-served communities across the continent.
Paradigm Initiative has introduced ‘LONDA’, a Digital Rights and Inclusion in Africa Report 2020. This report analyses the state of digital rights and inclusion on the continent, examining violations and gaps, investigating the use and application of policy and legislation, highlighting milestones, and proffering recommendations for the digital landscape in Africa. covered by this report, including Benin, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Zambia.
Apart from the indiscriminate arrest of journalists and other citizens, this report documents data privacy violations, internet shutdowns, lack of oversight for security agencies, mass surveillance, online gender-based violence, clampdown on peaceful protesters, invoking defamation laws to punish dissent, and the use of ambiguous COVID-regulations as an opportunity to punish dissenting voices.
Download and read the report by clicking on the link below.
A Ghanaian media practitioner, digital marketer, and influencer marketing specialist with a major focus on tourism, emerging technologies, and e-commerce.