Cameroon: Dangerous Speech online, Fake News and Digital Rights Symposium
On September 12 and 13, 2018 in Yaoundé (Cameroon), in partnership with Paradigm Initiative, Global Network Initiative, Internet Society, Facebook, Google, Access Now and many local and international civil society organizations as well as entrepreneurs, Internet Sans Frontières organizes a multistakeholders symposium on solutions and approaches to limit misinformation and hate speech online, while preserving the digital rights of Internet users in Cameroon.
For Julie Owono, Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières:
“The purpose of this symposium is to reflect on the current issues of disinformation and the spread of dangerous online speech. It is also to propose alternative solutions to the Internet shutdowns while analyzing their negative impact on the digital economy and citizens’ rights. Are the efforts, made by civil society organizations, public authorities and telecommunication operators, ways to safeguard connectivity and freedoms? ”
In 2006, in Cameroon, the population with internet access was estimated to more than 4.3 million people (out of 22 million inhabitants). Cameroon is one of the African countries, with Lesotho and Mali, that have the strongest increase in connectivity rates in the last two years. The strategic plan put in place by the government, “Cameroon Digital Horizon 2020” has allowed the development of new infrastructures that have ensured this exceptional growth of connectivity.
However, the development of the digital economy and the Internet in Cameroon is thwarted by many pitfalls. The ongoing social, political and security crisis in the North West and South West regions and the fight against the Boko Haram sect in the north of the country have had an impact on the access of civilians to the Internet. The North West and South West regions have experienced long periods of Internet shutdown that have been denounced by many local and international organizations of civil society.
Are there alternatives to the total Internet shutdowns that are meant to preserve the security of people and property?
For two days there will be discussions on this theme alongside Internet service providers, content platforms, international and local civil society organizations, entrepreneurs. We hope that this symposium will represent a platform for dialogue between the different actors of the Cameroonian and international Internet ecosystem. We hope that the participants will make the necessary commitments to preserve the freedom, peace, and stability of the Internet.
Contact Paradigm Initiative
Rigobert Kenmogne, Lead Afrique Africa Program, Paradigm Initiative email@example.com Contact Internet Sans Frontieres
Julie Owono, Executive Director, Internet Sans Frontières