Later today we’re sending out the first email to the open planning group for the FASTAfrica campaign for faster, safer and more affordable Internet for everyone in Africa.
In the last few weeks, my colleague Solana and I had the opportunity to discuss the campaign with African participants at the Internet Freedom Festival in Spain and at the Internet Freedom Forum in Nigeria.
We spoke to Internet rights advocates from a dozen countries, and everyone agrees that a regional coalition acting towards the same goals is something that can only help boost local efforts and increase visibility of our struggle for greater access.
Each country has its own challenges and priorities, but sharing good policy suggestions and advocacy is something that will benefit everyone. Working together, we can make the action week (May 1-7) a time that really brings attention to the need for better Internet access.
We need to show governments and policy makers that thousands care about the issue and are urging them to act. We will also try out arguments for why Internet is so important for Africa and see what moves people to take action. That is a common question we need really solid answers for.
We have prepared a timeline of events from now until June (below) and you’ll see we coincide with the endorsement of the African Declaration for Internet Rights and Freedoms at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in April and ends with the World Economic Forum on Africa and the African Union Summit in June. We will evaluate the results of the campaign at the Internet Governance Forum in Mexico in November, and consider a second week of action for 2017.
We will be agreeing with the planning group what we should be asking of African leaders at these meetings. Hurry up and join if you’d like to take part! Everyone thoughtful and committed is welcome.Key Events Surrounding #FASTAfrica
|April 6-20||African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Gambia||Promoting African Declaration for Internet Rights and Freedoms|
|May 1-7||ACTION WEEK||Calling for more action on Internet rights in Africa.|
|May 1||International Worker's Day||Speaking out on Internet, economy, jobs and rights.|
|May 3||World Press Freedom Day||Free speech and the Internet should go hand in hand.|
|May 5||African World Heritage Day||African culture transcends history on the Web.|
|May 11-13||World Economic Forum on Africa||Report on results from action week and campaign goals.|
|June||African Union Summit||Report on results from action week and campaign goals.|
When English is a problem, we can translate!