National Coordinators Meeting
The meeting was called for on 17th of April 2017 with attendance of four (4) national coordinators named, Haddija Jawara (Gambia), Salyou Fanny (Ivory Coast), Comfort Ogon (Nigeria) and Akinremi Peter Taiwo (Coordinator).
The meeting opened with welcome message by Peter and followed by roll call, national coordinators introduction, discussions on ACSIS objective, ACSIS action plan and duties of national coordinators.
Attention of the attendees was called to events and conference arounds the corner such as IGF, digital economic summit, IFF and others.
I also encouraged national coordinators to leverage on various social media platforms to share and disseminates ACSIS activities
Internet Freedom forum, 2017 convened by Paradigm Initiative in the heart of Lagos attracted diverse stakeholders across continent. Country updates where then taken from representatives from Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Rwanda and Uganda. Each country representative gave an update on the status of Internet Freedom in their countries.
In many of these countries, the threat to internet freedom is real with reports of incessant partial or complete internet shutdowns even in countries where internet penetration is as low as 4%. Surveillance of citizens was also widely reported, especially targeting journalists and perceived opposition groups. Countries with higher penetration rates like Kenya complained that the subscription costs continue to climb higher daily.
Following members of ACSIS were present but unfortunately we could not all take group pictures; Remmy (ACSIS Vice), Arsene (Member), Chenai (Southern Africa Coordinator) and Peter (West Africa Coordinator).
Fatimata who then the Senegal focal point said she would preferred to remained an ACSIS member while passing the baton to Abdou Beukeu Sow’s as the new Senegal ACSIS President. But the major challenge in the communication channel with the new Senegal ACSIS President is the language barrier.
THE GAMBIA UPDATE
Haddija reported that no activities yet as a results of government activities in the country as well as her exams put limit on the extent she could go for now. But she promised to meet with the team and get something started.
Comfort who is the Nigeria focal point reported she has adopted the social media channel as a medium to share ACSIS objectives and activities and reach wider Nigerians. She currently have a WhatsApp and Facebook groups of which I am a member.
COUNTRIES REPRESENTATIVES CONTACTED.
In sourcing for representatives in different West African Countries: Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia was contacted but currently I have not heard back from them despite of several remainders sent. Efforts is still on-going to get more onboard.
Akinremi Peter Taiwo
ACSIS West Africa Coordinator