The fight for internet freedom-friendly legislation and policies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been at the center of the advocacy work Rudi International, as an organization, has been conducting in the country. We also believe that when citizens’ digital rights are upheld by the State, then only we can build a just and strong country.
As an organization, we have had the opportunity to partner with various entities and organizations in order to do what we do, in support of the citizens of the DRC who long to live in a country where their rights are taken seriously by the State and various entities in the digital sector.
That’s why on May 25-26, 2022 we hosted in Goma, a digital rights advocacy workshop benefiting nearly 30 civil society actors who came from cities including Kinshasa, Kisangani, and Bukavu in the DRC. This was in partnership with Paradigm Initiative, a pan-African organization based in Nigeria.
“The main objective of this workshop is to give you the opportunity, as civil society leaders, to understand what are your digital rights and what you need to do whenever these are being violated”, said Arsene Tungali, Executive Director of Rudi International, during his opening remarks.
Paradigm Initiative selected Goma for this workshop in order to share their expertise and experience of working in various countries in Africa, with the Congolese civil society leaders. Their innovative approach to conducting successful advocacy activities was very much welcomed by the participants.
The workshop was facilitated by various experts from Paradigm Initiative (PIN) and Rudi International, and touched on specific content, including Mr. Gbenga Sessan (PIN’s Executive Director) who presented on “Advocacy communications: how to tell a compelling story of your work?”, Mrs. Nnenna Paul Oguchukwu (PIN’s Operations Officer) on “Building trust in relationships”, Mr. Adeboye Adegoka (PIN’s Program manager), on “Digital rights 101” and Mr. Rigobert Kenmogne (PIN’s Head of Francophone Africa) on “Digital rights and internet freedoms in the DRC and in Africa”, in addition to Rudi International experts who spoke about the ICT policy landscape in the DRC.
In addition to equipping civil society leaders on digital rights and advocacy, they were also trained on how to form coalitions and the importance of working in a coalition for maximum impact. It was clear to the participants the saying that goes “if you don’t know your rights, there is no way you can claim it”.
This workshop also wanted to get the participants to create a vision of how they want their country to be run, and what they want the digital environment to look like. And from the group work, they came up with a positive vision for the DRC, a vision they are committed to building.
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