THE Paradigm Initiative says it has opened applications for the 8th Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF).
A statement by Director of Programs at Paradigm Initiative, Tope Ogundipe confirmed the annual forum will hold between April 21 and 23, next year.
DRIF, according to her, is a platform for shaping conversations at the intersection of human rights, development and digital technologies in Africa.
The Forum, she explained, has in the past welcomed digital rights activists, telecommunications industry professionals, government officials with oversight functions, members of the academia and others.
Ogundipe said the venue of DRIF20 will be announced soon.
According to her, the 2019 DRIF has expanded conversations from digital rights to digital inclusion themes, and the expansion ensures more audience is co-opted into the conversations.
“DRIF also ensures the most pressing issues are addressed, such as; affordable broadband access in Nigeria, the rising tide of internet shutdowns in Africa, increase in the uptake of biometric and surveillance technology on the continent or how mobile technology is shaping development in Africa.”
She said DRIF20 would feature conversations on some of the most important trends across all regions of Africa and beyond on the intersection of human rights, development, and digital technologies.
“DRIF20 would build on the success of DRIF19 held in Lagos, Nigeria, that attracted over 300 delegates from 38 countries who deliberated in 26 sessions,” she explained.
Program Officer, Digital Rights, Francophone Africa, Paradigm Initiative, Rigobert Kenmogne, added that DRIF20 affords ample space for conversations around digital rights and inclusion in East Africa.
“East Africa has been in the spotlight for developments in digital rights in Africa in recent years, particularly with Ethiopia regularly shutting down the internet, and with the high profile national identity scheme (Huduma) in Kenya,” Kenmogne said.
DRIF20 would provide an important platform for civil society and other actors from these regions to collaborate on effective responses to these regional themes, she said.
Selected delegates and side-session proposal organisers will be contacted after the close of applications on December 31.
DRIF is a bilingual forum that caters to a diverse audience with translation services provided in English and French.