Freedom Online Coalition Welcomes Cape Verde as 39th Member

H.E. Pedro Lopes, Cabo Verde’s Secretary of State for Digital Economy

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), the intergovernmental organization established to promote Internet freedom and protect human rights online, has announced that the Republic of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), an island country of West Africa in the Central Atlantic Ocean, has officially joined the Coalition as its 39th member.

As the latest member, Cabo Verde has pledged to uphold and advance the Coalition’s shared goals and values as stated in the FOC Founding Declaration, the Helsinki Declaration, the Ottawa Agenda, and other foundational documents. It will become an active participant in the Coalition’s activities, sub-entities, and diplomatic networks, and will collaborate with members to advance the FOC’s mission worldwide. 

Prior to joining the Coalition, the country demonstrated respect for human rights online, both at the domestic level and through its engagement in key multilateral and other relevant international forums and initiatives.

Over recent years, Cabo Verde has emphasised advancing digital inclusion through enhancing infrastructure and connectivity, supporting initiatives to increase digital literacy, and strengthening e-governance to advance digital innovation.

Domestically, the country has committed to expanding digital public services, improving the availability of access to information, and promoting the security and resilience of technological and institutional infrastructures, among other key objectives as outlined in its digital strategy.

It has also actively sought multistakeholder input for a range of key domestic initiatives, and as a member of the Open Governent Partnership (OGP), it engaged with a broad range of stakeholder groups through the formation of a National Multistakeholder Forum in addition to endorsing the Open Government Declaration and committing to support civic participation and access to new technologies for openness and accountability.

Cabo Verde’s engagement in international fora has further demonstrated its alignment with the FOC’s principles, including becoming a signatory to the Declaration for the Future of the Internet. By endorsing the declaration, it committed to promoting and sustaining an open, free, global, and interoperable Internet, and to protect and strengthen the multistakeholder system of Internet governance, which is a priority of the FOC’s 2024 Programme of Action.

In 2023, during the high-level meeting “Advancing the 2030 Agenda through Inclusive and Rights-Respecting Digital Policy” hosted by the United States on the margins of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Pedro Lopes, Cabo Verde’s Secretary of State for Digital Economy, spoke on the importance of promoting inclusive participation and ensuring that the benefits of connectivity are accessible to all, further highlighting domestic initiatives to contribute to bridging the digital divide. 

Announcing the nation’s membership of the Coalition, H.E. Pedro Lopes, said: “We, as the Tech Islands of West Africa, are delighted to announce our membership in the Freedom Online Coalition. This important milestone underscores our unwavering commitment to upholding fundamental human rights in the digital sphere. By joining this esteemed coalition, we reaffirm our dedication to promoting internet freedom, fostering innovation, and safeguarding online liberties for all our citizens and beyond.”

The Coalition looks forward to working together with Cabo Verde to advance Internet freedom and protect human rights, both online and offline.