Kenya IGF Week

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 

Time: 2.30 – 4.30 pm EAT

Place: Zoom Link


The realization of digital rights requires that everyone should have equal access to the Internet, and the use of the internet is treated as a public good. Further, digital rights are essential to human rights, especially, freedom of expression, association, and the rights to information and privacy. Internet access is a human right and is being transformed by digital technologies. The expansion of internet access has resulted in citizens’ utilization of online platforms to express themselves, share information, and associate in unprecedented ways.

Threats to digital rights are on the rise in the continent, as civic space continues to shrink in most countries. The affronts on digital rights are not only emerging from governments but are evident from the business of corporations that continue to make tools and platforms that compromise digital rights. In addition, social justice organizations that are at the forefront of these responses are also facing imminent threats of closure, as governments clamp down on their activities, and funding further shrinks thus limiting their effectiveness and capacity to respond and push back against efforts to restrict digital rights. 

Given the foregoing, it is important to develop a shared understanding of the issues and develop strategies of how social justice organizations can collaborate and build synergies with the philanthropic sector to restore, protect and effectively defend digital rights in the continent. There is a desire for increased collaboration and support between partners and donors, and possibly good opportunities for improving support for digital rights work. Targeted funding for digital rights to ensure resilience could ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of social justice organizations in handling digital rights and emerging issues. In light of this, what sort of interventions are necessary? What is the role of Partners and Donors?

The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTAnet) will hold a roundtable as a side event during the Kenya Internet Governance Forum (KIGF) 2021 week. This roundtable will provide a platform to highlight the digital rights issues in the Eastern Africa region and Africa,  and possibly explore ways through which partners can leverage resources (financial, technical, networks, expertise, etc.) to better respond to threats on digital rights in the region. In addition, it is anticipated that participants will gain more clarity on topical digital rights concerns, and prioritize strategies and the way forward.


The aim of this roundtable is to:

Bring together donors and SJOs to create awareness and appraise each other on the situation of digital rights in the region.

  • Provide an opportunity for donors to discuss how partners can leverage the philanthropic sector to advance digital rights work in the region.  
  • Provide an opportunity for reflection and the development of a shared understanding and common strategic direction and responses to emerging digital rights threats.


2:30 – 2:35 pmWelcome and Introduction

Grace Githaiga, KICTANet
Alberto Cerda, Ford Foundation
2:35 – 3:00 pmPanel Discussion: Digital Rights Issues in the Region

Tim Dagoiri, Ihub-cchub/AIRA – East Africa Perspective
Nthabiseng Mokoena, The Engine Room – Africa/Other regions
Koliwe Majama, APC – Africa/Other Regions
‘Gbenga Sesan, PIN (AIRA) – AIRA Perspective 
Victor Kapiyo, KICTANet

What are the top digital rights issues in your region?
What are the challenges faced in addressing the digital rights issues in the region?
What interventions can the philanthropic sector make to promote digital rights?
3:00 – 3:15 pmPlenary Session
3:15 – 3:40 pmPanel Discussion: Leveraging the Philanthropic Sector

Nicole Gregory, British High Commission, Head of People to People, UK/Kenya Strategic Framework
Roselyn Odoyo, Mozilla Foundation 
Brett Solomon, AccessNow
George Kegoro, Open Society Foundation
Maria Xynou, OONI– Global/Other Regions
Paul Kimumwe, AIRA /CIPESA

How responsive are funder priorities to digital rights issues raised? 
What are the challenges or gaps in supporting digital rights work in the region?
What are the existing opportunities that implementing partners can leverage on to promote digital rights?
What can the philanthropic sector do differently to address digital rights in Africa?
3:40 – 3:55 pmPlenary Session
3:55 – 4:20 pmStrategies to Enhance Civil Society Effectiveness

How can we foster greater intersectionality and collaboration among diverse stakeholders on digital rights? 
How do we ensure sustained action to promote digital rights in Africa?
What key actions should be prioritized by SJOs and philanthropic sectors in the coming years to advance digital rights?

Open Plenary Session
Grace Mutung’u – CIPIT/AIRA
4:20 – 4:30 pmClosing and Way forwardKICTANet