The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) has announced that the ninth edition of the annual Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica22) will return to a physical event and take place in Lusaka, Zambia, from September 26 to 29, 2022.
CIPESA is also inviting proposals for sessions as well as calling for registration for participation at the event.
In the shadow of COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 editions of FIFAfrica took on a hybrid approach. The return to a physical event is a response to the global success in controlling the spread of the coronavirus and the resultant lifting of restrictions by various countries.
Additionally, returning to the physical mode is in recognition of the technical challenges inherent in virtual and hybrid approaches, and their common failure to offer an equivalent level of networking, engagement with key actors such as policymakers, and a platform for engaged capacity building, to physical interactions.
The landmark event, which convenes a spectrum of stakeholders from across the internet governance and digital rights arenas in Africa and beyond, had previously been hosted physically in Kampala, Uganda; Johannesburg, South Africa; Accra, Ghana; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
CIPESA noted that hosting the first in-person FIFAfrica in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia is in recognition of the country’s pivotal role in Africa’s decolonisation and democratisation, as well as its efforts to advance digital transformation for sustainable development. Zambia has for long been a bastion of stability characterised by regular elections and peaceful transfer of power. Further, the country has traditionally been a peace broker on the continent and host of anti-colonial movements.
Over the course of four days, FIFAfrica22 will feature panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, and presentations. All interactions will maintain and observe national COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Session proposals will be accepted till July 29, 2022; applications for travel support will be accepted till July 29, 2022; successful session proposals and travel support applicants will be directly notified by August 31, 2022; while registration to attend will close on September 5, 2022. Submissions close at 18.00 (East Africa Time) on the stated dates above.
The registration and session proposal form can be accessed here.