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African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms
By the African Internet Rights Campaign
At their Meeting held in Accra, Ghana, on March 12 and 13, 2015
We, the promoters of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms, meeting in Accra, Ghana, on March 12 and 13, 2015 to discuss and review a variety of issues relating to the popularization and implementation of the Declaration on the African continent and beyond, unanimously adopt and issue the following resolutions:
1- The meeting expresses sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Ghana under the leadership of His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama, for the warm reception accorded the participants and, in particular, thank the Minister of Communications, Hon. Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, for accepting to receive the participants on a courtesy call, on behalf of the President of Ghana; and the Deputy Minister of Communications of Ghana, Mr. Ato Sarpong, for attending and declaring the meeting open.
2- The meeting commends the Government of Ghana for the progress so far made in promoting and protecting Internet rights and freedoms as well as its commitment to global efforts to advance and defend these rights, expressed, for instance, through its membership of the Freedom Online Coalition, a partnership of 25 governments working to advance Internet freedom through diplomatic efforts as well as by engaging with civil society and the private sector to support freedoms of expression, association, assembly and privacy online throughout the world.
3- The meeting expresses concern about lingering challenges impeding the full enjoyment of Internet rights and freedoms in Ghana and other African countries, including the problems of inadequate access to the Internet for citizens, particularly women and other marginalized groups; the high cost of access, inadequate security and protection for Internet users online; and the absence of a legal framework for access to information by citizens.
4- The meeting welcomes the commitments made by the Ministry of Communications of Ghana to work with civil society organizations and other stakeholders to address the outstanding challenges. Other African governments are accordingly urged to emulate the government of Ghana and take urgent steps to address issues in internet governance, rights and freedoms within a multi-stakeholder framework.
5- The meeting further calls on African governments, pan-African organizations and regional bodies to endorse and implement the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms by applying the principles outlined in the Declaration in their policy and legislative processes relating to the Internet as well as by bringing their existing laws and policies into conformity with these principles.
6- The meeting commends ongoing country-level efforts on the continent around Internet freedom and urges stakeholders behind such initiatives to adopt and apply the principles contained in the Declaration in their policy or legislative interventions to ensure Internet freedom in the respective countries.
7- The meeting resolves to launch the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms during the African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) scheduled to take place before the end of the year in order to raise further awareness about the Declaration with a view to ensuring its implementation throughout the continent.
8- The participants thank the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) for organizing and hosting the meeting.
Adopted and issued in Accra, Ghana, by representatives of civil society organizations from Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda as well as international partners in the United Kingdom this Friday, the 13th Day of March, 2015.
Twitter: @AfricaNetRights; #AfricanInternetRights