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.
At the initiative of Rudi International, a group of civil society representatives came together for an Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) policy workshop in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in June 2018.
A two-days’ workshop (building from a previous workshop held in Goma in June 2017) where participants had the opportunity to learn and engage into a discussion around the ICT policy landscape, look at different aspects of Internet rights in the country. Participants had the opportunity to be introduced for the first time to the African Declaration on Internet Rights whose key principles informed the discussions on the draft bill. But most importantly, they had the opportunity to study and make an in-depth analysis of the proposed Telecommunications and ICT bill which came out of the National Assembly (after adoption) on May 7th and sent to the Senate for the second reading. The government through the ICT Ministry was invited to answer questions from Senators and was able to give more light.
At Rudi International we took this opportunity to offer inputs to the new proposed law that supports citizens’ digital rights, including to privacy and data protection, freedom of expression, and access to information online. The existing Framework law No 013/2002 of 16 October 2002 on Telecommunications does not adequately address modern societal and technological realities, hence the need to come up with another one which includes aspects such as on privacy, etc. We consider this to be a positive move from the government of the DRC and look forward to engage more in this area.
This workshop was intended at reviving momentum on the draft including calls to discuss gaps within it, hence the need to have a varied group of participants that included 15 lawyers, human rights activists, bloggers and journalists who have history in digital rights activism and advocacy work in that part of the country. At the beginning of the workshop, we got in touch with the Chair of the “Commission Infrastructure et Amenagement du Territoire” that was reading the draft law within the Senate, Senator Nenyengwe who encouraged us:
“Your workshop is very important and timely as we were in need of receiving comments and inputs from end users and civil society groups. We were approached by other groups such as the private sector and received their inputs but your voice was missing. Please do send us your recommendations right after your workshop and we will take time to read and consider them for discussion in our deliberations”, he said.
Our inputs that cover/address some specific aspects of the draft law seen from an end-user’s perspective and is divided in the following sections:
High level comments
The rights and obligations of end-users of the telecom services
The need for a multistakeholder approach in the management of the telecom and ICT sector
Protection of privacy and personal data
The need for more attention and proper legislation covering issues of cyber security and cyber crime
Download a PDF copy of our recommendations (in French and English) bellow:
Rudi International, through its ICT Programs, recently launched a series of training targeting young women aged 18-25 years to introduce them to everything Internet. We have been working in this field since 2012, trying to engage more and more women into this space, helping them understand why and how they need to embrace an ICT career and more broadly, to engage in STEM.
In partnership with Sacred Portion Children’s Outreach, a sister organization, we started a series of training that started in June and scheduled to resume in September 2017 in Goma, eastern Congo where we are based. A group of 20 young women will be trained, one weekend every month (Saturday and Sunday) in different topics, divided into different phases.
For June, they have been taken through the basics of the Internet such as understanding the origin of the Internet, introduction to Internet governance, how to create and use an email address as well as basics of social media usage. They were taught about the main organizations working in the ICT space, globally as well regionally and how they can be part of the policy process. As a result, they now have started communicating using Gmail and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The session in June was the starting point as we look forward to the remaining 3 phases, with the same group of young women.
The next phases
The second phase, in July, they will go through a module on “Using the Internet for peace, development and advocacy” where they will learn how to use social media sites to promote causes they believe in, to share positive messages and be part of the Congolese online community.
The third phase will focus on “Citizen Journalism” where the ladies will learn basics of blogging as well as writing for the web. Our team of trainers will use their time to take these young women through blog creation, production of content and how they can promote their blog posts on social media. We want to see these women be able to take over the web through production of quality content and be citizen journalists that will be followed for their posts.
The last phase in September will deal with “Online security and data protection”. This is essential in this world and in the DRC with the current state of Internet freedom; we want Congolese young women to be able to surf the web while taking care of their personal security and the one of the people they communicate with. This subject is scheduled for the end of the training because by this time, participants will have acquired the knowledge they need to use the Internet in an effective way.
In between each phase, our trainers will be checking on them and use WhatsApp groups to further communicate, share tips and receive homework as a way to help them discover new things, features that they cannot learn during the training due to insufficient funding. With this project, we want to emancipate these women and help bridge the digital divide that exists between men and women in the use of technology.
Want to participate?
If you want to partner with us to advance the use of technology in Congo and participate in the reduction of modern slavery, do not hesitate to use the Contact section on this website to share with us your thoughts.
In partnership with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), we brought together human rights activists, journalists, bloggers, lawyers, etc to discuss ICT policy issues in Africa and in the world. A special focus was on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) because we examined the current policies and the way the policy development process is being handled in the DRC.
For two days, it was a good opportunity for journalists and human rights advocates in Goma to be exposed to Internet freedom topics and know how they can be part of the policy discussion. One of the major activities was that participants were able to read the current ICT laws and to compare it with the new proposed ICT laws currently under discussion at the Parliament.
Recommendations were drafted on how the ICT proposal can be improved and have it include issues such as privacy, freedom of expression, etc. As a result, a statement was issued: DR Congo Parliament Urged to Pass Laws That Support Citizens’ Rights Online (available on CIPESA’s website), its French version can be downloaded here [Declaration de la Societe Civile – Francais].
This training was the first of its kind to be held in this part of the country. Rudi International has been working in the area of Internet freedom for a few years now, being represented at major events discussing Internet shutdowns and other violations of citizen’s digital rights.
We are committed to work with a lot of partners in shaping the Internet freedom agenda in the DRC. If you want to partner or want to learn more, do not hesitate to reach out to us.
As part of our ICT Programs, Rudi International, non-profit celebrates the Safer Internet Day with the rest of the world as over 100 countries celebrate this day to encourage the safe and responsible use of online technology.
Rudi International agrees with the theme for this year calls you to “Play your part for a better Internet,” where children and the rest of humanity is safe, dignified, respected, and the Lord God honored.
Below is a link from the ITU Blog that shares a SMART way of stay safe on the Internet:
S – Set your limits: beware of sharing your personal information.
M – Meeting online friends offline: take someone else with you that you know and trust to stay safe.
A – Accepting invitations/friendships: there is nothing wrong in declining invitations that you are not sure about.
R – React: if you see something that bothers you, talk to your parents or someone you trust.
T – Tell someone about your concerns: report inappropriate content and behavior to the host of the website or police.
Finally, the ITU also provides a wonderful PDF document that parents can use with their children for educating them and improving their safety both online and offline. Please find the PDF document directly on the ITU website.