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First Ever Digital Rights Conference held in the DR Congo

For Immediate Release

Goma, November 6, 2018

Rudi International and its partners organized the first ever “Conference on Human Rights in the Digital Age in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, the Haki Conference, held on Monday and Tuesday in the town of Goma, Eastern Congo.

Covered online with the hashtag #HakiConf2018, this gathering brought together nearly two hundred participants from DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.

There was no better time to organize such a conference in DRC, a country where most people know little to nothing about their digital rights”, said Arsene Tungali, Executive Director of Rudi International.

Digital rights are violated here very often and there is no platform where citizens can discuss the issue and organize to find a solution. That’s where the Haki Conference comes inhe added.

The wide variety of participant’s background ranging from journalism to activism, business, technology, etc. was a catalyst for meaningful interactions and heated debates.

Our wish would have been to accommodate all the nearly 400 people who applied but we were restrained by the budget and could take only half of that. This is a clear indication that the interest in digital rights is there, hence, the need for more similar events”, explained Arsene, who announced that the event will be an annual rendez-vous in the DRC.

As a pre-event of this inaugural edition, Rudi International’s longtime partner CIPESA organized a workshop on ICT Policy and Advocacy in East and Southern Africa. This was an opportunity for nearly thirty participants to learn about the basics of digital rights and be introduced to the Internet freedom landscape in Africa, etc.

“East and Central Africa is facing numerous challenges that undermine internet freedom yet insufficient work is being done to address these challenges. A shortage of resources, hostile environments for civic actors who promote free expression and good governance as well as repressive laws contribute to these challenges”, said Wairagala Wakabi (Phd), who is the Executive Director of CIPESA.

Accordingly, CIPESA is working to grow the network of individuals and groups that work on advancing internet freedom and building their capacity to engage in digital rights advocacy. This training and the conference in Goma assembled a rich mix of stakeholders – lawyers, journalists, women’s rights activists, private sector actors and state officials – all of whom need to work collaboratively to realize an affordable, inclusive and open internet in Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda”, he concluded.  

Participants signed “The Goma Declaration on Human Rights in the Digital Age” with call to actions and commitments that would make DRC a digital rights friendly country.

Download the full Declaration (in French): #HakiConf2018 – Declaration de Goma.

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To schedule interviews on #HakiConf2018, please, get in touch with Blaise Ndola, ICT Program Manager. Mobile phone and WhatsApp : +243 990961665 (Français et Anglais)

Email: info@rudiinternational.org (Francais et Anglais)

Few photos of the conference can be downloaded from Rudi’s Facebook Page (before they can be shared to a public link) and are to be used only with written permission of Rudi International.

#HakiConf2018 c’est déjà pour demain.

En effet, c’est déjà pour demain.

Nous partageons dans ce message les dernières touches d’information pour vous permettre de mieux vous préparer : notez que nous avons une formation demain dimanche et la conférence qui débute le lundi pour deux jours.

Votre participation à la conférence :

  • Vous vous êtes inscrits, nous avons essayé de faire la sélection et avons notifié ceux qui ont été retenus. Ils ont été contactés par email et ont confirmé leur participation. Veuillez vérifier dans vos emails si vous avez reçu le message avec comme objet : « #HakiConf2018 : Notification de votre sélection pour participation » envoyé par Rudi International.
  • Si vous n’avez pas reçu d’email de confirmation, cela ne veut pas dire que votre dossier n’était pas intéressant, mais parce que nous avions un nombre précis, pour des raisons budgétaires. Vous aurez d’autres opportunités à venir et nous allons garder contact ;
  • Vous avez la possibilité de suivre en ligne via notre Page Facebook et sur Twitter en suivant l’hashtag #HakiConf.

La participation à la formation du Dimanche 4 Novembre

  • La formation sur les « Politiques et le Plaidoyer dans le secteur du numérique » organisée conjointement par Rudi International et notre partenaire CIPESA débute ce Dimanche 4 Novembre 2018 (toute la journée). Les participants ont reçu leurs notifications et sont attendus à Linda Hôtel à partir de 8h30.
  • Si vous n’avez pas reçu de notification quant à ce, merci de ne pas vous présenter. Nous promettons que nous allons organiser d’autres formations dans ce sens et l’on vous tiendra informés.

Collecte des badges pour la conférence

  • Les participants à la conférence qui le désirent peuvent se présenter Dimanche 4 Novembre entre 15 et 17h à Linda Hôtel pour collecter leurs badges et ainsi éviter la queue demain matin ;
  • Le Lundi 5 Novembre 2018, la date du début de la conférence, veuillez vous présenter sur les lieux à partir de 8h pour collecter votre badge qui vous permettra d’avoir accès à la conférence.

Autre annonces :

  • Nous souhaitons un bon voyage a ceux qui viennent d’autres villes de la RDC (comme Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Kisangani, etc), ainsi que d’autres pays de la region;
  • Veuillez télécharger les documents suivants :

L’Agenda: HakiConf2018 Draft Agenda V3,

Le Code de Bonne Conduite: HakiConf2018 – CODE DE BONNE CONDUITE

La Note Logistique HakiConf 2018- Note Logistique Finale

#HakiConf2018: Les inscriptions s’ouvrent aujourd’hui!

C’est le moment de prendre votre inscription.

Désirez-vous prendre part à la première édition de la “Conférence sur les droits de l’homme à l’ère du numérique en RDC“, #HakiConf2018 ?

Désirez-vous faire partie des discussions sur l’application des droits de l’homme dans ce siècle de l’Internet en RDC et en Afrique ?

Prenez votre inscription aujourd’hui en cliquant sur ce lien (jusqu’au 31 Octobre 2018)

La conférence se tient du 5 au 6 Novembre 2018 à Goma dans la grande salle de l’Hôtel Linda, avec une belle vue sur le Lac Kivu.

Access Now – Rudi : Joint Submission to the UNHRC for the 33rd Session of the UPR 2018 Cycle

The submission

Rudi International and Access Now made a joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 33rd Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) 2018 Cycle for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can get access to it here: DRC – Submission UNHRC

This submission raises a number of issues related to digital rights in the country as well as few reminders about the number of human rights obligations that the country has signed up to.

The document submitted is composed of the following sections as well as few recommendations at the end :

  1. Domestic and international human rights obligations
  2. Developments of digital rights in the DRC
  3. Violations of access to information and freedom of expression
  4. Violations of the right to privacy

The Haki Conference in DRC

This submission raises some important issues that we will be looking at during our upcoming #HakiConf2018 (the conference on human rights at the digital age in the DRC) to which we kindly invite you to attend.

Please make sure you have registered to our mailing list to receive the latest about the conference (including the registration link that will be shared soon) that happens in Goma (DRC) on November 5-6, 2018. we look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful city of Goma.

You can get access to the submission at the folowing link: DRC – Submission UNHRC.

Save the date for the #HakiConf! November 5-6, 2018 in Goma (DRC)

La version FRANCAISE de ce blog : Save the Date – HakiConf – RDC Francais v2

Rudi International is thrilled to announce the inaugural edition of the HakiConf which is the « Conference on Human Rights in the Digital Age in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) », taking place from November 5-6, 2018 in the country’s own touristic city of Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What’s the main theme? « Digital Rights in the DRC: Where Do We Stand? »

The conference’s program will tackle some of the current and upcoming pressing issues in the country and the region, including:

  • Privacy and data protection;
  • The context of digital legal frameworks in the country;
  • The Internet freedom landscape in the country and how can we leverage on success stories across Africa;
  • Digital rights during election times and what the Congo can learn from other African countries;
  • How can we leverage on the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms to design Internet freedom friendly legislations;
  • And much more.

Who will be attending?

We expect to host civil society leaders and organizations working on human rights and digital rights issues, policy makers, journalists, lawyers, technologists from inside and outside the country.

Why should you attend?

  • The #HakiConf2018 will be the first of its kind in the country, where (local and international) participants will have the opportunity to engage into meaningful discussions about the intersection of human rights and the Internet;
  • The conference is happening at the eve of general elections and will aim at setting the agenda for more discussions on how digital tools can support peaceful elections;
  • Join us to learn about the state of Internet freedoms in the largest country of the Sub Saharan Africa;
  • Join us to share best practices to inspire and challenge the local digital rights community in the Congo;
  • The conference will aim at setting the scene for meaningful discussions around issues such as privacy and data protection, access to information and the need for proper legal frameworks covering these issues;
  • Come meet and engage with human rights and digital rights activists who are working to challenge oppressive governments in Africa;
  • Come learn on the many opportunities that you and your organization can join those working to support a more open, free and accessible Internet in the DRC, that respects the fundamental rights of the people;
  • Come and be part of the movement in support of local efforts in the Congo.

How can you be part of this?

Join us! Mark your calendar! Save the date and get ready for upcoming official announcements.

There are some ways one can be part of the success of this event. Try one (or all) of these:

  • Pre-register here to receive fresh updates leading to this event (including the upcoming calls for proposals and for the official registration);
  • Share this email across your other networks to raise awareness about the conference;
  • Get ready to physically join us in Goma and be part of live discussions;
  • This conference will be running through a generous core grant from Access Now but we would like to expand our pool of funders/sponsors: please reach out to learn how you can financially support this conference;
  • Please reach out to share any ideas, tips on how we can best use this conference to have meaningful and lasting results.

How to get in touch?

From 2012 to now… The Lord has been faithful!

The new school year kickstarted in Goma during the first week of September and we were able to send our students back to school, through your continued support. We would like to thank you for partnering with us since the beginning.

Today, we would like to celebrate what the Lord has done, so far. We started our Rudi Education program back in 2012. At that time, we could never know that we would be able to go from 16 students in our original group to the 95+ that we were able to send to school this September 2018. We cannot thank the Lord enough who kept on using each one of you to partner with us through this ministry.

                                                   Our Secondary 4th Students

Looking at the students we started with, they have grown up and they are now in their Secondary 4th school year. They are now big boys and they have grown in science and in their fear of the Lord, something we are proud of and what keep us doing what we do. We love serving this community in Lac Vert.

Please stay with us as we embark on this new school year and see what the Lord has in store for us. Please keep in touch through our various communication channels and do let us know if you have any thought or question.

The Rudi team