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.

30 human rights activists trained in digital security in Lubumbashi and Kisangani

Between September 2017 and June 2018, we conducted a series of digital security training and awareness in two cities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thanks to the support of the Access Now grants program, a total of up to 30 human rights activists, bloggers, civil society leaders went through our digital security training curriculum.

The training aimed at equipping these civil society leaders on the latest safety tools to support their work and help them keep their privacy in a society where Internet freedom violations are increasingly present. Many of our participants have either seen their online communications intercepted or being questioned for what they have said on social media.

As a preparation for the general elections scheduled to start in December 2018, our training covered topics such as :

  • Email encryption
  • Using secure mobile apps
  • Protecting their online communication platforms through using strong passwords and using password managers
  • Protecting their devices against malwares, viruses, etc
  • Enabling two factor authentication on Gmail as well as on Facebook
  • How to circumvent Internet shutdown by using apps such as VPNs, etc.

Participants in Kisangani and Lubumbashi gathered for a five days training each (between September and December 2017), which was followed by online discussions, encouraging each participant to practice some of the tools and apps they learned. The online discussion also helped participants ask questions to the trainers and receive real time support on troubleshooting issues.

Follow up sessions were then conducted later on in both cities (between January and June 2018) where participants were also introduced to the ICT policy landscape and the Internet governance ecosystem. They were then introduced to the policy making process and had the opportunity to understand the DRC policy landscape.

Arsene talking about ICT Policy in Lubumbashi

As a result of these efforts, participants reported now being cautious about their online security and some shared the following :

« I now know how to create a strong password and how to no longer worry about memorizing it. I am able to use the password manager that best suits me and store all my different passwords for all my online websites and devices », said Costa, a male blogger in Lubumbashi.

« I used to have my laptop available for anyone to use it but after this training, i now know that i should not because anyone can then install surveillance apps in there and be able to track all my work. I also now protect my laptop with strong password », said Judith, a female film maker in Lubumbashi.

« As a medical doctor, i did not know how to best secure my patients data until i discovered that i can create a virtual disk and keep confidential data in there that i can access through cloud from whichever desk i am using », said Querida, a female medical doctor and civil society activist in Kisangani.

At the end of these series of training, we agreed with the participants that everyone who uses the Internet or a computer needs to be introduced to a basic digital security training because we all can be vulnerable somehow. We are therefore look forward to more opportunities to offer these training all over the country so that people can get ready for the upcoming elections.

« Once you are trained, you need your friends and workmates to also be trained so that you are all secured. You cannot start using encrypted emails if your friends with whom you communicate do not. We encourage Rudi International to conduct more of these training in schools, offices so that everyone is aware of potential risks they may face while online », said Junior, a male participant in Lubumbashi.

« But I have personally decided to do my part in training my colleagues and the clients that are coming to learn basics of computing at our training center in Lubumbashi », Junior concluded.

In May 2018, Arsène Tungali, our Executive Director was part of a panel discussing digital security training in Africa at RightsCon 2018 in Toronto, Canada. He had the opportunity to share our perspectives, the challenges we faced as well as best practices that can help other trainers to better conduct their digital security training.

If you want to learn more or partner with us in these efforts, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Rudi Christmas Project 2017

It is that time of the year again when all over the world, people are celebrating the birth of the Son of God among men. This year, we want to remember the birth of Christ as we celebrate Christmas with the children from Rudi Education, their family, and up to 500 more people from their community. Just for a reminder, the large majority of the people we serve are internally displaced persons living in challenging conditions right outside of Goma, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

We delight in bringing joy to this community that has been affected by war and conflict for the longest of the past 23 years. Many of you have contributed from $1 to hundreds of dollars to make this event possible for the past 6 years.

Please join us again today and let’s bring joy and cheer in Lac Vert together by giving right on this page or by going to our Campaign titled Rudi Christmas Outreach on YouCaring.com. Our goal this year is $2,774 for a two-days event reaching out to more than 500 members of the community. Thanks to the contributions of many, we are getting closer to the goal. Please join!

 

Contribution to Rudi Christmas 2017

(The quantity you pick will be multiplied by $10 to compute the total amount of your donation)

$10.00