Web We Want

FAST Africa — Action Week For Internet Rights, May 1-7

FAST cheetah
Background: Cheetah by Hein Waschefort, Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA)
Renata Avila
Written by Renata Avila

Africa is a fast continent. Africa hosts four of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world and it is the fastest growing market for mobile phones. It has the fastest beats, the fastest animals, the fastest athletes.

BUT Africa has the fewest people online, and Internet access on the continent is the slowest and most expensive in the world.


Web We Want and Alliance for Affordable Internet are calling for a week of regional action to change this and unlock Africa’s full potential. We want you to join us! We don’t just want more and better Internet, we want F.A.S.T – Fast, Affordable, Safe, Transparent Internet for Africa.

On 1-7 May, 2016 we want to connect with everyone who feels strongly about better Internet, locally and regionally, and demand action from governments, municipalities, corporations and communities.

There is a lot African leaders can do that doesn’t have to cost a lot – from reducing taxes to boosting digital literacy, from sharing broadband strategies to giving communities a say about spending. We need to start NOW to realise the UN’s goal of universal access for all by 2020.

The Week of Action results will be delivered to:

World Economic Forum on Africa (Rwanda, May 11-13)
Africa Internet Summit (Botswana, May 29-June 10)
African Union Summit (to be announced)
Internet Governance Forum (to be announced)

The Week of Action will coincide with International Worker’s Day (May 1) World Press Freedom Day (May 3) and African World Heritage Day (May 5), excellent opportunities to highlight the importance of F.A.S.T Internet for expression and culture as well as for economic growth. We’ve got to demand the Internet as a right for all, and understand what needs to happen to make it a reality.

Special collaboration grants from Web We Want will be available for up to eight African initiatives. Details will follow in the next few weeks.

The campaign will be conducted in English and French, if you need information in another language please contact us.

If your organisation wants to join the coordination team or the public launch please write to me (renata@webfoundation.org) no later than February 29, 2016.

* If your organisation is not based in Africa but it is willing to collaborate, or you personally wish to volunteer some of your time to help local teams, write to me. Your skills will be truly welcome. Everyone is welcome!

About the author

Renata Avila

Renata Avila

Renata Avila is a human rights lawyer from Guatemala and the Global Campaign Manager of the Web We Want. She has been involved in Internet and Human Rights research since 2009, and currently serves as a Board Member of Creative Commons. She is also on the Courage Foundation Advisory Board, assisting whistleblowers at risk and on the board of D-Cent, exploring the future of decentralised technologies.

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