2019 Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum Holds in Lagos

Mr. Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative
Mr. Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative

The seventh edition of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF) formerly known as Internet Freedom Forum (IFF) will hold from April 23 to 25, 2019 in Lagos Nigeria.

The forum which is organised by Paradigm Initiative has gained a reputation since its inception in 2012 as an important platform where conversations on digital policy in Africa are shaped, and policy directions forged.

DRIF is an arena where tough topical global issues around Internet rights, especially in Africa, are discussed between civil society, technology companies, government, academia and other stakeholders.

For the first time ever, the Forum will focus considerable time and energy on digital inclusion, after organising six editions that focused heavily on digital rights. The organisers believe “digital inclusion is crucial in a continent where internet access is still a luxury or entirely nonexistent for many”.

DRIF19 will host 300+ delegates from over 30 Africa countries, participating in some 18 sessions over a 3-day period.  Historically the Forum focused on digital rights issues including internet shutdown, data privacy and protection, net neutrality, among other themes. In 2018, the pan-African Forum was expanded to include conversations on digital inclusion.

The forum presents a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting Internet Freedom in Africa. Since 2017, proceedings at DRIF have been bilingual- English and French, to cater for the diversity of participants attending.

Participants at DRIF will include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academia, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

To encourage diversity there is limited travel support for deserving participants from outside Nigeria. Individuals with interest in expanding and protecting the digital space in Africa are encouraged to register.

Participants are also implored to submit session proposal as long as the proposed session falls within the digital rights and inclusion themes of the Forum. Session proposal should be submitted no later than January 31, 2018 and response will be received by February 28, 2018.

Individuals interested in privacy, affordable Internet, increasing women’s access to digital tools, Internet shutdowns and similar themes are encouraged to join members of civil society, the technical community, academia and private sector for yet another agenda shaping event in 2019.

Please visit here for submission of session proposal.

Applications for sessions which should be submitted before January 31, 2019 should be submitted at https://drif.paradigmhq.org.