February 16, 2022 , Africa Meetup

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Africa Meetups

Date: Wednesday, February 16th

Time: 3pm SAST / 1pm UTC / 8am EST

Who: Facilitated by Tawanda from Digital Society of Africa

Where: BigBlueButton link will be shared in the following rooms on the IFF Mattermost one or two hours before the start of the meeting: Sub-Saharian Africa.

Notes: Please put notes here: https://pad.riseup.net/p/africa-meetup

Notes

Countries Represented:

  • Burundi
  • Ethiopia
  • The Gambia
  • Uganda
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Introduction

This was the first meetup for Africa this year and we were all excited to have new countries being represented i.e. Burundi and Mozambique. Each member was asked to share a summary report of what is happening in their respective country and any other project(s) news which might be of interest to the community;

Highlights

  • Elections: Nigeria and Zimbabwe are both preparing for 2023 national elections. Representatives from both countries highlighted the need to prepare CSOs in increasing their holistic security. There is a history of violence, increased surveillance, raids, internet shutdowns and intimidation during these periods within both countries hence a great need for the rollout of holistic security strategies before election dates.
  • Country Situation Analysis: Its was sad to hear that the situation in Ethiopia is not improving and the country is currently under a state of emergency and it hasn’t been a safe space for many of its citizens for some time now. In South Africa, there has been the re-emergence and increase of xenophobia attacks, racial protests and an increase of politically motivated violence as they too are preparing for their 2024 general elections.
  • Projects:
    • We were all excited to hear that Internews is working on a SafeTag online course which will be either self-paced or instruction led. Most of the meeting participants self-taught SafeTag and welcomed this development especially for upcoming auditors.
    • Team Jokkolabs Banjul in The Gambia are hoping to start a Digital Security Lab and also a Threat Lab this year and will definitely need our help as a community to make it known and have all the remote support.
    • Team Dukingire Isi YACU in Burundi, is looking for opportunities to be capacitated in terms of digital security and digital rights issues as an organisations so that they can also cascade things learnt to their broad and vast community members.
    • Mozambique Human Rights Defenders Network is a recent organisation in Mozambique that works to empower HRDs and marginalised communities, read more: https://redemoz-defensoresdireitoshumanos.org/
    • Open Tech Fund

Resources Shared

  • How do we create a safer, feminist #internet? How do we create meaningful opportunities for #women on digital platforms? What does it take to re-imagine our #digital and #data future, as African women? Join Pollicy on Wed 23 Feb to tackle all these & more! (Twitter Spaces Event)
  • OTF support summary:
    • OTF Applicant Guidebook: This is an important resource for anyone interested in engaging with OTF. It explains our guidelines, different funding opportunities (direct support), our labs (in-kind services), and also includes guidelines for submitting concept notes to us. Basically, this is an overall deep-dive into OTF.
    • OTF Internet Freedom Fund: Our main fund - for applicants either working on applied research, digital security projects, technology development, or community events related to internet freedom.
    • OTF rapid response fund: Emergency assistance fund - for applicants that need urgent support to help with things like digital security support (audits, training), digital attack response (forensic analysis, DDoS response), secure web hosting for sensitive information, connectivity issues (shutdown response, VPN).
    • OTF Labs: Mini support mechanisms to provide continuous sustenance in the form of things like app security audits, creation of reports for non-technical audiences, usability and accessibility audits, etc.
    • Projects OTF can support: This is a list of most of the projects OTF has supported since 2012 to help folks gauge the scope of things we've worked on.
  • For TunnelBear VPN licenses and partnerships for your organisation please do send an email to: Partnerships@tunnelbear.com