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Zambia: Southern Africa Digital Rights Workshop

Digital Campaign Pitfalls Esther Mwema
Presenting on creating impactful digital campaigns at Southern Sun. SA Digital Rights. 18 Oct 18

18-19 OCT 18: Paradigm Initiative hosted the Southern Africa Digital Rights Workshop in Lusaka, Zambia. The city is my home base and it was very exciting to discuss Internet rights with leading activists, policy makers, and officials from the region. The program was supported by Facebook.

This was the first time I would be attending an Internet-related forum, after the Internet Governance Forum in Geneva and the School of Internet Governance in Arusha.

Founder and President Esther Mwema
Digital Grassroots Presentation

The Southern Africa Digital Rights workshop brought a wealth of new knowledge about data, security and policy-making. The program was a true representation of the multi-stakeholder approach of the Internet. The multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance includes stakeholders such as consumers, academia, tech, civil society, and government.

The two day event was led by Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, Gbenga Sesan, and Google Policy Fellow and Digital Grassroots Vice President, Wathagi Ndungu. I also got the opportunity to present during the 'Digital Campaign, Community and Social Mobilisations' session. In this session, I focused on traits that make a good campaign as well as common pitfalls encountered in digital campaigns.

Internet Society
Internet Governance Landscape by ISOC

The program included sessions on Internet Ecosystem, Main Actors and Policy Processes, ICT Policy in Southern Africa (Policy Instruments and Laws), Digital Rights 101, Lawmaking Process in Southern Africa, Digital Campaigns, Community and Social Mobilisation (which I presented on), Introduction to Advocacy Communications (including Lessons from NetRights Africa Coalition and the Digital Rights & Freedom Bill), Digital Security and key Break-Out Session.

Break out discussions focused on Nigeria’s Digital Rights & Freedom Bill and the opportunities/challenges of advocating a similar bill for select Southern Africa countries. In this exercise, participants represented six countries in Southern Africa and identified areas for civic participation which can address issues such as internet tax, cybercrime law, and other policies before they advance too late in the process toward becoming law.

Being behind the camera throughout the event allowed me to capture many amazing moments. I did get in front of the camera as well to pose in front of the poster during lunch break - after sumptuous meals and snacks at Southern Sun hotel, Long Acres in Lusaka.

On Day 2 of SA Digital Rights in Lusaka, Zambia

And of course, farewell dinners are always so engaging. This workshop is pilot to a lot more engagement on Digital Rights in Africa. It was well worth it!

SA Digital Rights delegates at a dinner in Lusaka, Zambia. Oct.18. Photo Credit: Hadassah Louis

If you liked this, you may want to read more about my time in Uganda and South Africa. Or check out my article on Why Education is Not Preparing Girls for the Real World! Ciao.

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