The Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) is a landmark event that from 27 to 29 September 2023 convened a spectrum of stakeholders from across the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing privacy, free expression, non-discrimination and the free ﬂow of information online.
As part of the forum, EU Cyber Direct, in collaboration with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), the Centre for Multilateral Affairs (CfMA) and the Innovations Dialogues Europe-Africa (IDEA) Project of the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub organised a discussion on the enhancement of African priorities and participation in key international cyber and digital processes.
From the emergence of the African Internet Group in the 1990s to the growth of national and regional Forums like FIFAfrica and the IGFs, the African continent has a longstanding tradition of participation in institutional and multistakeholder dialogues on digital governance and human rights in the cyber realm. Yet this vibrant community of digital rights activists, internet governance researchers, NGOs and civil society remains largely underrepresented in many of the international cyber and digital debates that are determining the future of internet governance and international digital transformation policy frameworks.
The session looked at key cyber and digital governance processes and addressed barriers and opportunities for the African multistakeholder community to actively engage and participate in them. More broadly, the session considered how local African expertise and activism can be effectively leveraged at the global multilateral level to support a free, open safe and secure digital environment.