#AruWSIG19 Yesterday’s Recap

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Good Morning Arusha?

Here’s a recap of yesterday as we look at what the last day looks like.

Key takeaways from yesterday’s sessions of #AruWSIG19  were:

  1. Research and Data Driven Advocacy. This session was facilitated by Mr. Alban Manishimwe-NMAIST, Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

What is Data Driven Advocacy?

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Data can paint a clearer picture of a situation. When visualized and published on a website, data can help create powerful imagery to convey information, strengthen arguments and bridge gaps among stakeholders with different levels of familiarity with an area of advocacy.

  1. Introduction to Digital, Media and Social Mobilization tools for campaigns.

The explosion of social media in the recent times, has drastically transformed the way information is created, disseminated and distributed.

  1. ICTs and Mental Health. This session was facilitated by Hazel Muriro from Mindful Conversations. The overall outcome of this session was to explore possible associations between information and communication technology (ICT) use and mental health symptoms among young adults. By “ICT” in this context is meant mainly computer and mobile phone use. The question of: What is it about new technology that is making many of us anxious and stressed? It was clear that we literally have the internet in our pocket at all times and can seemingly find out the answer to almost any question at the touch of a button.  But while these advancements in technological functionality and access are amazing; they come at a cost. There is also evidence that we are becoming over dependent, or even possibly addicted, to our phones. Think about how you feel when you realize you have forgotten your phone, or left it behind somewhere.

Welcome to the last day and stay tuned to live updates across our social media platforms.

Have a Lovely day!

#AruWSIG19: Day one Recap

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Here’s a quick recap of what happened on Day One of AruWSIG19, as well as a look ahead at what to expect today.

Officially, the workshop started at 9 am and there was plenty of activities during the mid-morning.

During the day, workshop attendees began arriving at the Obuntu Hub, eager for the workshop to begin.

Among the sessions yesterday was Introduction to Internet Governance, Infrastructure and Institutions.

Takeaways from that session were;

Internet Governance is the development and application of shared principles, norms rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and the use of the internet. A key outcome from that session was that, although internet governance deals with the core of the digital world, governance cannot be handles with the digital-binary logic of the true or false, or good or bad.

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There was a session that challenged participants on how often we use our smartphones to speak about Human Rights Violations by using our social media handles especially Twitter?

It has been noted that recently, there is a rise in documenting Human Rights Violation by using smartphones. The transition from Press Releases and Speeches (Participation Online) have proved that the youth are engaging online with their leaders where they directly challenge their leaders and hold them accountable. The mobilization of youth and people online is becoming quite common and it has also prone people to fake news from the government leaders who don’t agree with what the citizens who hold them accountable.

Another amazing session was facilitated by George Owuor from Facebook, who took participants through Content Moderation on Social Media.

Content Moderation is the practice of monitoring and applying a pre-determined set of rules and guidelines to user-generated submissions to determine best if communication is permissible or not.

Content moderators protect Facebook’s 2.3 billion members. Who protects them? The moderators protect Facebook’s users from exposure to humanity’s darkest impulses. Constant exposure to violence, hatred and sordid acts can wreak havoc on a person’s mental health.

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The session that followed was on Feminist Principles of the Internet which was facilitated by Rebecca Ryakitimbo. During this session, participants were split into groups and they took time to discuss what they understand by: The Feminist Principles of the Internet are a series of statements that offer a gender and sexual rights lens on critical internet-related rights. They were drafted at the first Imagine a Feminist Internet meeting that took place in Malaysia in April 2014. The meeting was organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and brought together 50 activists and advocates working in sexual rights, women’s rights, violence against women, and internet rights. The meeting was designed as an adapted open space where topics were identified, prioritized, and discussed collectively.

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On Tap For Today:

#AruWSIG19 gets better today with presentations discussing:

  1. Research and Data Driven Advocacy.
  2. Introduction to Digital , Media and Social Mobilization tools for digital rights campaigns.
  3. Mindful Conversations, ICT and Mental Health among others.

Stay Tuned for more updates throughout the workshop.

 

Enjoy!

#AruWSIG19

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Yesterday’s Highlights and Today’s Agenda.

This was the second edition of Arusha School of Internet Governance 2nd Edition-AruwSIG.

KsGen is hosting the Localization Sprint as an annual appearance at the Obuntu Hub which is a social enterprise that seeks to empower young entrepreneurs based in Arusha, Tanzania.  Obuntu is inspired by the notion of ‘Obuntu’ i.e ‘collective progress’. The founders were eager to share what they had learnt with other young people in their local community.

The 2nd annual Localization Sprint has brought together a group of about 20 individuals to share experiences and brainstorm how to improve the localization of ‘Safe Sisters’ which is a common-sense guide to digital Safety for Women and Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This booklet was written to help girls and women learn about problems that they might run into on the internet ( like leaked or stolen photos, viruses and scams), how they can make informed decisions every day to protect ourselves, and to make the internet a safe space for ourselves, families, and all women.

This booklet was made possible by the collective effort of Internews, Defend Defenders, and the 2017-2018 Safe Sister fellowship program. The mission is to make digital security less complicated and more relevant to real users and to encourage all women and girls to take online safety into their own hands. 

Participants represented the linguistic, geographic and professional diversity and user community.

Why this is important:

One of the most important decisions that any country can make about their content is to provide access to it in other languages, especially local language. In an increasingly shrinking world, where our contact with other cultures grows daily, there is also more opportunity available now than at any point in our past. The internet continues to bring us together and provides more interaction than has ever been possible.

Localization workflow:

This session brought together a group of participants and translators to discuss the challenges faced by both groups with regard to localization workflows across Localization projects and identify ways in which these workflows can be made more effective and efficient.

Contributors, participants and translator sides agreed that there is a large gap in communication between communities. As a result of this lack of communication there is efficiency loss, work is completed that is then not used (primarily on the part of the translators), translation work does not match project priorities, new translators are easily overwhelmed and thus hesitate to contribute, and review of content becomes more difficult. Due to these complications, there are a lot of lost opportunities and the full potential of our translator community remains untapped.

Today, Day 1 of AruWSIG we cover what is Internet Governance, Introduction to Tanzania ICT Landscape, Policies and the Law, Introduction to ICT, Human Rights and Democracy for the morning session. Stay Tuned for more updates throughout the day.

 

Enjoy!

Photos by Wanjiku Kang’ethe

Tackling Digital Gender Divide

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By; Wanjiku Kang’ethe

Acknowledging that greater female participation in the digital economy will lead to more solid economic growth, the declaration issued by ministers at the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting in Salta, Argentina, contains an annex with proposals to help reduce the digital gender divide.

The digital divide is a manifestation of exclusion, poverty and inequality and continues to be exacerbated due to the effects of unemployment, poorly functioning digital skilling programmes and socio-cultural norms in some economies, depriving women equal access to digital services.

Despite exponential growth in Internet and mobile usage across Africa, African women are much less likely to get online than men. This gap, reported to be as great as 45 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, could be hindering the continent’s economic growth—especially in the agricultural sector, where women make up the bulk of the workforce. Increasing the digital literacy of African women could have immediate impact on the agricultural sector, where information communication technologies (ICTs) already have played a role in increasing crop yields and boosting farm incomes. Survey respondents in the E-Learning Africa Report attributed the digital gender gap to the inaccessibility and unaffordability of technology, as well as to individual women’s lack of confidence in using it.

In the past two decades, there has been a lot of talk about the transformative power of technology in society, yet little attention has been paid to an emerging digital gap. Though Africa has recently seen rapid growth in Internet access, women are vastly underrepresented in technology. The rise of cybercafés has benefited men more than women because boys and men have more freedom of movement to get to the cafes and have more access to make and spend money at them.

There is a disturbing trend of cyber bullying experienced by young women. They also find it difficult to access technology because of cultural restrictions and their lower status in society.

Because women face barriers such as poverty, illiteracy, and discrimination when getting training and education, we are witnessing the rise of a second digital divide.

It is important to understand that technology and access to the Internet is essential to women’s empowerment across the continent and it is key to overcoming these barriers in the first place.

Gender inequality remains deeply entrenched in many African societies. Many women and girls still do not have equal opportunities despite this being enshrined in the law. Yet Information and communication technologies are important tools for advancing gender equality, women and girl’s empowerment, and a more equitable and prosperous world.

Becoming technologically skilled can play a major role in getting jobs, being competitive in the job market and enable these women to pull themselves out of poverty. It is clear that if this group is ignored, problems such as economic dependency, violence against women, and low self-esteem will continue to be perpetuated.

As an advocacy method, ICT can help empower African women to demand true reform that will bridge the gap between their legal rights and their enforcement. It gives women the opportunity to communicate their needs in their own ways, in real time and on a massive scale. Online technology also offers anonymity, which is absolutely essential when speaking out on sensitive issues might endanger a woman’s safety. ICT is a limitless platform for women’s grassroots organizations so they have a collective voice in public, thus enabling them to make their voices heard more clearly.

Girls and women must be supported in becoming technologically competitive and they must gain proper understanding of how to use it safely and effectively. With Africa’s growing youth population and increasing competition for jobs and other opportunities, addressing these issues is imperative in any effort to promote women’s employability and financial independence.

At KsGEN, we believe bridging this gap more girls and women will be empowered and will eventually shape the future. We must expose girls and boys to role models in non-traditional fields — such as female engineers or male careers — and give women the chance to tell their own stories through programmes such as the #HerStory campaign, and our very own #HERSTEAM which showcases the stories of women leaders and women who have been forgotten in history books.

#SwitchItOn

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The Internet can improve the quality of life for people everywhere. It can enable economic and social growth. But with only a little more than half of the world’s people with access, it does not include all of us.

Internet connectivity and access is a key enabler of economic and social development. It can improve access for the poor to financial services; it can help people with their education and empower them; it can give them a voice when they lack one.

Internet connectivity also enables the fulfillment and exercise of human rights. ICTs allow people to exercise their freedom of expression and other fundamental rights. Internet access is also central to the development agenda and to realizing the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. Lack of access compounds inequality, with many disadvantages for those left offline.

Closing the Internet access gap is a matter of social justice—and of global responsibility. We all must work together to bridge the digital divide and to foster an inclusive digital society.

#SwitchItOn