Young Social Media Enthusiasts in Kenya Trained on Internet Law and Digital Security

By Shitemi Khamadi |

BAKE pic

In 2015, Allan Wadi, became the first Kenyan to be convicted of hate speech online. At a May 2017 training on internet and the law, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge to avoid future arrest and prosecution. While he is currently facing an incitement to violence charge over a comment he made on Facebook in February 2016, he said he is now more aware of the extent of his rights and limitations with respect to the rights of others.

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Youth in the Civic and Social Tech Arena in Tanzania

By Ashnah Kalemera |

Hatua project

Sandra Kitenge, a student of Mbezi High School, is determined to bridge the gender gap in technology in Tanzania. Having benefited from the Apps and Girls programme that empowers girls with computer literacy and coding-for-change skills, she sought avenues through which she could contribute to amplifying grassroots voices as part of electoral processes in Tanzania. The solution: an idea for a mobile app known as Tujibu (Swahili for “answer us”) through which grassroots communities can interact with leaders on their manifestos so they can make informed election decisions.

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Showcasing Civic and Social Tech in East Africa

By Ashnah Kalemera |

Showcase series

As access to information and communication technologies (ICT) has continued to grow across Africa, so have technology-based initiatives that enable social accountability and the participation of citizens in promoting transparency and accountability in government operations.

In Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, there is a growing number of government portals for public sector information (PSI) provision, responding to complaints about quality of public services or for corruption whistle-blowing, and generally making PSI more readily available, such as open data portals and budget information websites.

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Government Responsiveness on ICT tools deployed: Preliminary Findings Nakuru

By Nasubo Ongoma|

We live in a digital age where most services are online, one tweet could change your life (examples). The government is not left behind and is actively using the internet to reach out to its citizens. iHub as part of the ICT4Democracy East Africanetwork, is undertaking a research project to assess government responsiveness on the ICT tools launched. Data collection is currently being carried out in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa and Kisumu with key informants from the government (national and county), civic society and software developers, armed with this quest, we set out to Nakuru county. It is worth mentioning that it is campaign season, with the uncertainty of the return of the incumbent governor, we reached out to the staff of the ministry of ICT in the county, but they did not show. We are still trying to get an interview with them.

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Bloggers to benefit from digital security & internet freedoms training

By Shitemi Khamadi |

Bloggers are poised to get legal knowledge on what laws can be used to charge them, thanks to a training hosted by the Bloggers Association of Kenya. The training to be held in Nairobi and Kisumu will see bloggers gain knowledge on what not to post, the rights of arrested persons and the legal framework governing the internet.

Digital&LawTrainingNairobi

“We are heading into the elections yet many bloggers and Kenyans online do not know which sections of the law anyone can use to charge them. This training will improve their knowledge on this critical issue”, said James Wamathai, a Director at BAKE. Read more

Government’s Digital Transformation

 By Nasubo Ongoma |
 
The Kenyan government is at the forefront of embracing digital technologies, with the adoption of ICTs for efficient and timely service delivery. For example, ecitizenMyGovNexus (hardly updated), active social media pages (ImmigrationKRAHuduma) and the most recent web portal, Delivery.This year, we are studying the dynamics of government communication with citizens on the ICT tools launched, specifically, the response mechanisms.

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What Must Change?” For More Gender Equality Online

Storify |

ICT Gender equality

This International Women’s Month, we reflect on what presently shapes women’s participation in the online arena. On International Women’s Day, 8 March, we hosted Akina Mama Wa Afrika, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Connecting Voices of Citizens (CVC) and the Ask Your Government (Uganda) online portal in an online Twitter chat during which we asked “What must change?” to enable a more inclusive online community which recognises gender equity.

See some highlights from the chat here

Gender Digital Divide Persists in Africa

By Juliet Nanfuka |

Ghanaian_using_a_tablet

Last month, the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) released its Affordability Report 2017 which indicated that while the world will this year mark a significant milestone of 50% global internet penetration, large numbers of women in developing countries remain offline because “they cannot afford to connect.”

The A4AI report’s findings echo earlier reports on the longstanding gender digital gap that is the result of prevailing social and economic barriers including illiteracy, gender roles and various forms of discrimination. In 2013, a report by the Broadband Commission estimated that 200 million more men than women accessed the internet. Similarly, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in 2016 the difference between the Internet user penetration rates for males and females was largest in Africa (23%) and smallest in the Americas (2%).

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New Forums to Use ICT for Social Accountability in Eastern Uganda

By Ashnah Kalemera|

Under the ICT4Democracy in East Africa initiative, the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) has initiated 12 forums in eastern Uganda, which will use various Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools, as well as offline methods, for social accountability.

The forums, each comprised of 12 members, were formed in the districts of Tororo and Busia in October 2016, expanding the network of WOUGNET’s Voluntary Social Accountability Committees, or VSACs, who monitor and report on service delivery failures and mobilise citizens to participate in governance processes.

Members of the forums include representatives from Local Councils, as well as members of pre-existing community water, health, agriculture and education management committees. They also include representatives of youth, women, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and persons living with HIV/AIDs groups.

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Amplifying Community Rights Through Social Media in Kenya

By Ashnah Kalemera |

khrcchat

Human rights violations incidents are on the rise in Kenya with extrajudicial killings and police brutalityamong the cases reported recently. Social media has enabled quick reporting of such cases while also creating increased awareness of the reported incidents. Through a mix of Twitter, radio and physical engagements, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) is improving its effectiveness in promoting human rights and documenting violations in the lead up to the 2017 national elections.

The commission is seeing success in mobilising citizens for protests and marches, as well as getting stakeholders to participate in debates related to human rights. Through quarterly Twitter chats, the KHRC is popularising various human rights issues and bringing to the fore struggles faced by communities that have little online presence and who have limited avenues for participating in community affairs.

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