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Title: The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms: A Positive Agenda For Human Rights Online
Authors: Orrell, Tom
Keywords: Entrepreneurship
Internet use
Africa’s future
Women’s Empowerment
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Global Partners Digital
Abstract: By fundamentally changing the way in which people interact, trade, learn and communicate, the Internet presents an array of opportunities and challenges; not least for the African continent, which holds enormous potential but also faces significant economic, social and political challenges. Of the ten economies in the world with the fastest growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), five are in Africa.1 Entrepreneurship in the development of new Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) and e-commerce, including the sale of goods and services online, is contributing to economic growth on the continent and has the potential to play an even greater role in Africa’s future as Internet use on the continent increases.2 Future access to the Internet in Africa will primarily be mobile-driven and is set to increase twentyfold between 2013 and 2019.3 This transformation is being fed by greater numbers of low-cost smartphones and tablets entering the market, with these cheap but powerful technologies already “acting as a catalyst for the growth of diversified [African] mobile content.”4 Moreover, the Internet in Africa is contributing to socio-political development efforts and is being used as a tool for women’s empowerment,5 to help fill gaps in public sector capacity, to strengthen the voice of marginalised and otherwise disenfranchised groups and to increase political participation.
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