Concept Note Ouaga2018 Summit

 

Second Summit of the Pan-African League of Web Activists and Bloggers for Democracy

Theme:

« Digital Democracy in Africa: Collaboration mechanism between governments and civil society actors »

Venue: Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)

Date : 22- 23 June 2018

Table of contents

Second Summit of the Pan-African League of Cyber Activists and Bloggers for Democracy

Second Summit of the Pan-African League of Cyber Activists and Bloggers for Democracy

Context

Baseline situation (starting situation)

Presentation of Issues

Overviews of Citizen Initiatives and Digital Democracy Projects

The Dakar Summit (Novembre 2015)

Achievements of the Dakar summit

A.The Africa Media Cybersecurity Programm

  1. Local Open Data Initiatives Driven by Africtivistes after the 2015 Dakar Summit
  2. Open Data in Africa : Commitment of the AFRICTIVISTES Network

The Ouagadougou Summit (June 2018)

Topics of Discussion

Objectives

Specific Objectives

Themes for the Summit

Expected Results

Launch the Data.Africa Platform

DataSchool and DataCamp : Organise activities and events to strengthen collaboration and local initiatives

Organiser (AFRICTIVISTES)

Background on the AFRICTIVISTES network

 

I.        Second Summit of the African League of Web Activists and Bloggers for Democracy

The African meeting of change agents aims to facilitate the meeting between the virtual and active movements driven by young people across Africa so that they reflect on their actions, examine the achievements recorded so far and define next steps.

We want to create a space for young people to share strategies and build bridges between the different activist movements and those who are responsible for governance. We also wish to promote solidarity and joint action.

This meeting will allow the writing a joint program on how to use our voices in the community to influence regional institutions. It is important to harmonize the vision of the African cause of youth-led movements and to combine the means of action to provide appropriate and concrete solutions to the problems that hinder the development and unity of Africa. This will materialise through influencing decision-making at the regional level.

This second edition of the great gathering of African web activists is also part of a process of co-construction, collaboration and sharing between democracy activists and political actors. It is a kind of bridge to bridge the gap between the world of governance and the citizens of the continent.

After the first edition at the AFRICTIVISTES Dakar Summit in November 2015, Africtivistes will meet in June 2018 in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

Three days during which the Web activists, bloggers and netizens of the continent gather around topics such as

(i) e-engagement and participatory democracy;

(ii) digital democracy and new citizen / political actors' relations;

(iii) co-construction; and

(iv) Africa's civic-tech: the tools for transforming political commitment.

An important component will be the contribution of open data to better governance.

Ouagadougou will be, during a week, the capital of civic engagement and digital democracy.

The theme of this Ouagadougou 2018 edition is: "Digital Democracy in Africa: Collaboration mechanism of collaboration between government and civil society actors?"

Digital democracy is not easy to define, just as democracy in itself is an unfinished and ever-changing process.

For us, a set of practices, structures, institutions and citizen actions define democracy. It involves many elements - and the sum of these elements represents democracy. In this context, it is not surprising that there are many definitions of digital democracy.

There is no common definition of digital democracy. It straddles the notions of citizenship, participation, transparency, accountability, governance, e-government, civil society, public and private spheres.

For some, the term refers to the use of digital tools to provide information and promote transparency, for others it describes how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can expand and deepen citizen participation, while others talk about empowerment by allowing citizens to make decisions directly through online tools. We will go for a simple definition of Digital Democracy in one sentence: it is "the practice of democracy through the use of digital tools and technologies".

Digital democracy aims to give citizens access to information and allows them to interact with the government, for example citizens' consultations online (in June 2013, a wide-ranging citizen consultation was launched in Senegal by the National Commission for the Reform of institutions. Its aim is to collect "opinions and suggestions on changes to the Constitution") and the availability of and access to e-Government services (Zambia paperless visa application process with an application web e-visa accessible on the internet).

Digital democracy introduces a more participatory approach to the role of citizens. It introduces a new relationship between government officials and citizens about how communities are governed, and for collaboration on monitoring and management of public action.

In addition, when people use the term, they often do so in different ways, referring to different models of democracy - such as representative, participatory (deliberative or collaborative) or the model of direct democracy.

With the exception of the Group of Five - Mauritius, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco and Seychelles - the rest of the African continent is at the bottom of the list of countries that have integrated e-government. This is another reason that justifies the relevance of this theme for the second edition of the Africtivistes' Summit. How can we help our countries to integrate the digital into democratic processes? How to combine openness, accessibility, transparency through digital technologies? What alert mechanism can citizens' use? How to create a framework of exchange between the governed and the (governing) rulers?

More recently, the new concept of "open government" has created new ways of interaction between citizens and governments. This has resulted in better results through access to information, transparency and access to institutional data.

The improvement of public services through Digital Democracy makes it possible to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration and considerably reduce management and service costs. The integration of ICTs into administrative processes has a direct impact on a more effective and participatory democracy.

We are aware that democracy is further consolidated when a citizen is stronger in his/her role and his/her rights. The African continent needs a responsible, mature population that is aware of their responsibility as citizens.

The 2018 Ouagadougou Summit will be an opportunity to revisit the different experiences of citizen engagement and digital solutions to support our countries in the construction and consolidation of democracy. It will also be an opportunity to create a framework for exchange and dialogue to encourage the authorities to pay careful attention to activists but also allow citizens to adopt this concept of responsible activism. With nearly 200 participants from civil society, members of non-governmental organisations, political actors and members of governments, Ouagadougou 2018 will offer a framework for discussion, exchange and proposal to achieve some objectives of Africtivistes.

On the first day, it will be a question of setting the stage of the Summit by giving the floor to the various actors identified to take stock of Digital Democracy in Africa: myth, unacknowledged ambition and fear of a citizen empowerment. Afterwards, the political actors will be given the floor to address the issue of new forms of collaboration with citizens.

The second day will be dedicated to the discussions and workshops. Sessions on democracy, the fight against corruption and e-activism, the importance of openness and reuse of public data, the importance of a legal framework guaranteeing access to information, citizen control of public action, and on the role and involvement of regional and sub-regional institutions.

The third day of this meeting will be an opportunity to present the outcomes of the various group work done during the workshops. Given that 2016 and 2017 were important years at the continental level in terms of youth and human rights issues, a United Youth Manifesto will be published at the end of the Summit. This Manifesto 1) will present action plans to address the concerns of youth, 2) urge governments to commit to respect established freedoms, 3) emphasize the role and importance of youth as well as all citizens in the democratic process for citizen participation.

 

  1. Context

Over the last fifteen years, new forms of civic movements driven by young people have emerged across the African continent. The major factor to this is the desire of new generations to protect constitutional gains, individual rights and freedoms, contribute to sustainable development based on the needs of their communities and fight against corruption. These generations are hungry for other possible models of or alternatives to politics and governance.

 

The authorities' response to young people organizing across the continent has often been state-sponsored violence and repression. In addition to the repression of the authorities, young people do not necessarily enjoy the full support of traditional civil society. Despite the stipulation of the African Youth Charter that "Every young person has the right to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas of any kind, whether orally, in writing, in printed form, through art or the press, subject to the restrictions provided for by law”, the AU Commission remains silent in the face of state reprisals against youth movements in Africa.

 

Civic space shrinks continuously. Traditional civil society seems unable to adapt to the new strategies of the governments to silence dissenting voices, escape public scrutiny or circumvent the Constitution to stay in power. Youth movements today are the answer to the gap created by the absence of the civil society in the some democratic and governance debates. The dynamics have changed. Youth movements are now watchdogs. They monitor, criticize and sometimes propose solutions in a manner and through messages that are more accessible to the masses both online and offline. The use of technology has become popular. It allows these movements to reach others. They apply different approaches to the Constitutions of the countries. They defend their freedom, including the freedom to protest peacefully, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

 

“Enhanced citizenship” ( “citoyenneté augmentée” in French) has created a new type of active and proactive citizens. These activated citizens often become active participants beyond elections. Some are involved in the development of their country and solve problems facing young people in their communities.

 

This wind of citizen participation in the monitoring and development of public policies is blowing in all African countries. To respond to the need for a platform promoting respect for citizens' rights and the restoration and maintenance of democracy in African countries, the Pan-African league of cyber activists and bloggers for democracy (Africtivistes) was launched in November 2015 The organization brings together engaged Africans and diaspora Africans to face up to the challenges of democratisation, governance and freedom on the African continent. The aim is to serve as an intermediary through different country representatives and youth partner organisations working on democracy issues. The idea is to provide a communication framework for all at the national and continental levels and in the diaspora

The African Union declared 2018 as the year to fight against corruption under the theme “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa's Transformation”. The African Union declared 2018 the year of the fight against corruption under the theme "Win the fight against corruption: a sustainable path towards the transformation of Africa".

 

This summit will be an opportunity for youth movements to express their views on transparency and the fight against corruption, to express their concerns about the lack of consideration of youth opinion, while proposing ways to deal with this scourge through digital democracy. In 2017, the African Union stressed the need to invest in youth for accelerated empowerment in order to take full advantage of the demographic dividend. The year before, in 2016, the African Union was talking about human rights. All these different themes are closely related to another and none can be realised without the other.

 

The fight against corruption in Africa essentially involves respecting the rights of citizens to benefit from virtuous governance, which requires greater transparency, accountability in the management of public funds and regular reporting to the appropriate institutions. This will enable African states to prevent the loss of resources. And these resources can be reinvested in policies and programmes that will help them achieve the demographic dividend they so much aspire to.

 

The Summit is therefore an opportunity for youth-led movements to actively participate in the development of their country through an activity that is not limited to voting during election periods.

    1. Baseline Situation

 

Africa has entered democratic pluralism after the enthusiasm of independence, the era of the Cold War and its patchwork of single parties and authoritarian regimes living at the pace of successive coups.

 

The evolution is not smooth and the electoral periods are often the occasion of sudden surges of tension. Moreover, the heads of State do not always manage to resist the temptation to manipulate the Constitution so as to be able to stay longer in to power.

 

Two situation are enough examples to illustrate this:

  • 3,248 people died during the post-election crisis in Cote d'Ivoire in 2010;
  • 44 people died and 625 were injured in a two-day insurgency on 30 and 31 October 2014 hastened the demise of President Blaise Compaore who spent 27 years in power.

 

In countries where young people under 25 make up nearly 50% of the population and embody the future of African countries, the authorities are trying to ensure a democratic transition and face the challenges of human and economic development.

 

In an increasingly connected world, Africa has also entered the information, the "relationship" and the conversation society. For the younger generation, social media, online media and digital apps have become means of communication and citizen action.

 

The spread of Internet access (mainly through mobile phones) is transforming relations between Africans and their public administrations. Technology is changing societies in their functioning and in the circulation of information by word of mouth in private and public spaces. It therefore necessarily changes the way of doing politics and governing. Relationships between power and citizens are changing.

 

Over the last 10 years in sub-Saharan Africa, "Citizen's Internet" has gone through several phases in its development.

 

This particular context is not an additional problem but a historic opportunity to make youth a solution to the challenges of the countries on the continent. In the wake of the "open data" and "open govt" movement, "civic tech" stand out as an opportunity to renew the dialogue within society and to reestablish disintegrating links amidst mutual mistrust between citizens and politicians, between administration and civil society organizations.

 

The quest for greater trade flow, greater participation in decision-making, greater collaboration in the development of common standards, are in line with the imperatives of economic development. Therefore the establishment of a virtuous circle is sought to create a place for youth in decision-making and the creation of the future while setting up the conditions for economic development that will allow this young people to get out of the scourge of unemployment that generates anger and frustration.

 

Already, several countries have shown what the combination of a mobilized youth and a wise use of digital tools could accomplish:

 

  • In 2008, during the post-election crisis, young Kenyans created the Ushahidi web application that allowed people living near conflict zones to visualize "dangerous places". Since, the application is used all over the world.

 

  • From 2010 to 2011, Tunisians experienced an unprecedented revolution in their political history. This youth-driven movement, led to the departure of the President of the Republic of Tunisia, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who was in office since 1987.

 

  • In 2010, young Ivorians launched the hashtags #CIV2010 and #CIVSOCIAL which are two citizen initiatives launched to meet the challenges of the electoral period but also to cope with the crisis that ensued after the proclamation of the results respectively.

 

  • In 2012, Senegalese bloggers provided for the first time an electoral coverage with a new system of monitoring and observation (#SUNU2012) based on digital and thus preventing fraud and to a lesser extent an electoral crisis.

 

  • In 2012, young Ghanaians launched #GhanaDecides, a response to citizen participation in electoral processes.

 

From 2012 to 2015, Africa has experienced several other citizen initiatives: Vote229 in Benin, GuinéeVote in Guinea, Mackymètre in Senegal, Buharimeter in Nigeria, Presimeter in Burkina Faso, Talonmeter in Benin and recently Africtivistes (African league of web activists for democracy) at the continental level.

 

All these initiatives revolve around the same keywords: youth, engagement, citizenship, digital tools, good governance, participatory democracy and accountability. Young people therefore have a crucial role to play in terms of social change, not only in the future, as adults, but also more immediately as active citizens, in developing, implementing or contributing to individual or collective actions.

 

Success in this area depends in particular on the training and skills available to young citizen actors. Success also depends on the ability to surround oneself at the local and sub-regional or international levels so as to act with maximum efficiency for a lasting impact. These are the issues that this programme aims to address.

 

    1. Presentation of Issues

In this context, it seems necessary to contribute to the development in Africa of the emerging "civic tech" sector that can be defined as the use of technology in order to strengthen the democratic link between citizens and the government. This includes any technology that increases citizens' power over political life (in the etymological sense of the public life of the city), or make government more accessible, efficient and effective.

These precursors do not belong to a particular industry. They can be journalists, engineers, architects, web developers, geographers, activists, marketers, etc. In general, they receive initial training at a good level and have developed their own basic digital skills. These young people demonstrate a willingness to engage in public life at local or national level. For them, this commitment does not go through affiliation to traditional political parties, towards which they rather express distrust, but rather through direct and limited action in space and time, the effects of which are immediately measurable. .

These young engaged citizens now have accessible digital tools and unprecedented potential to mobilise the communities they target. However, they face many obstacles:

  • lack of training in project management methods that prevents the achievement of good ideas and lead to waste of the energy mobilised by these young people;
  • lack of interest and attention by the administration and the public authorities, while mutually beneficial cooperation could take place;
  • difficulty accessing public data;
  • lack of interest from local media;
  • shortage of technical and financial means to develop their ideas.
    1. Overviews of citizen initiatives and digital democracy projects

  • In March 2015, ihe authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), broke into a press conference held for the launch of a joint initiative - Filimbi which includes the Lutte pour le changement (LUCHA) - to educate young people on democratic processes and governance. Many of the activists present were arrested, and the majority of them were released days later. Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala were released in late August 2016. They had been detained for over a year awaiting trial. They are waiting for the outcome of their trial.
  • LUCHA protested against the delays in the organization of the 2016 elections and called for compliance with the presidential terms limit as stipulated in the Constitution. These activities reinforced the State's crackdown on the movement. LUCHA activists are systematically arrested when they organize peaceful public protests.

 

  • Since February 2016, at least 9 members of this movement have been imprisoned in the DRC. Six of them received a presidential pardon one month before the end of their sentence, which was reduced to six months in prison.

 

  • LUCHA was created in 2012 to address the social challenges faced by residents of the city of Goma, capital of North Kivu. The movement has gradually attracted attention at the local, national, regional and international levels thanks to the courage shown by the members in the peaceful protests for access to drinking water for all in the city of Goma. They called on United Nations forces and the DRC army to guarantee the protection of civilians in Beni, North Kivu.

 

  • Y'En A Marre was created in Senegal in 2011 to protest the inefficient policies of then President Abdoulaye Wade who failed to reduce youth unemployment, corruption and frequent power cuts. The protest expanded when the President refuse to uphold his promises and was willing to seek a third term. The group took a bold stance. They organized community-level meetings and press conferences during which they called on citizens to vote against President Wade in the 2012 elections. Y'en A Marre has since established itself as a voice that counts and echoes the concerns and criticisms of the people regarding the government's ineffective policies.

 

  • Created in 2013, the Balai Citoyen began to mobilize the local population to inculcate responsible citizen behaviour through environment cleaning and awareness sessions. These actions helped to strengthen civic engagement. In 2015, they went out on the streets to show the   of the Burkinabè people in the face of President Blaise Compaoré's desire to remain in power beyond the terms limit in the Constitution. The pressure forced the President to resign.

 

  • In Ethiopia in 2012, young bloggers created the Zone 9 platform to express their frustration with the government's repressive measures against the independent press and the civic space.

 

  • In Angola, 17 young pro-democracy activists were convicted for questioning the government's policies on corruption and expressed hope for alternative governance in the country.

 

  • In North Africa, the Arab Spring movements were created and led by young people who are keen on justice and respect for human rights in their respective countries.  The Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt and the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia were overthrown by the pressure of youth demanding individual freedoms and democracy.

 

  1. The Dakar Summit (Novembre 2015)

Summit of the Pan-African Cyber-Activists for Democracy - 26 - 28 november 2015, Dakar (Senegal)

©Photo : Pamphile Oudiane - Amath Niane

 

From 27 to 28 November 2015, a summit was organized in Dakar, Senegal, for the official launch of AFRICTIVISTES. This founding summit was organising under the theme: “Africa committed and determined to ensure and build democracy”.

 

What were the objectives of the meeting?

The key objectives of the meeting were as follows:

  • Building the capacity of youth to take leadership;
  • Active participation in major democratisation events including the electoral process;
  • Harmonising the understanding of the organisation;
  • Definition of an action plan with common main trends (because they can vary from one country to another).

 

The meeting brought together 150 activists from 35 different countries. This has given a continental dimension to the leadership and the active participation of young people. These two days were used to explain the context and purpose of Africtivistes, harmonize formats for Africtivistes campaigns to effectively communicate clear democratic messages on behalf of Youth. Particular emphasis was placed on the role and importance of youth and any citizen in the democratic process for participatory citizenship in a continental perspective.

 

In addition, participants were trained in the use of key tools to secure themselves and their online exchanges. Today, Africtivistes is a pan-African network. It is present in 40 countries of the continent and has so far 200 members.

 

Our values as AFRICTIVISTES

The Africtivistes are united by the following values:

  • We pledge to conduct our activities within the boundaries of the law.
  • We promise to uphold democracy in our country and in Africa through participatory citizenship
  • We renew our commitment to a non-partisan citizen policy.
  • We commit to ensure electoral and democratic processes.
  • We pledge to support participatory democracy movements and initiatives.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to promote good governance and strengthen African solidarity and defend human rights.

 

    1. The Achievements of the Dakar Summit

The Africa Media Cyber-Security

AFRICA MEDIA CYBERSECURITY is a theory and practice training programme in internet security dedicated to our late friend Anna Gueye. This programme is meant for professional journalists and citizen or civil society media actors (bloggers, citizen journalists, cyber-activists ….) of 10 countries in the West African sub-region.

The programme will train 500 media professional and civil society actors on cybersecurity.

 

What are the objectives?

The goal of the training seminars is to equip journalists, web activists and social media users to use the appropriate technologies to circumvent censorship.

Ultimately, beneficiaries will have the tools and knowledge they need to work securely, communicate with a peace of mind, mitigate the risks of infiltration and hacking, bypass Internet censorship, and surveillance technologies.

After the seminars, the 500 participants will be integrated into the online community of the AFRICA MEDIA CYBERSECURITY project (community of sharing best practices and mutual assistance between French-speaking and English-speaking media actors in West Africa) and will receive regular updates on anti-censorship technologies with which they have been familiarized during training.

How many sessions so far?

The programme was launched in July 2017. It will run from July 17th, 2017 to April 17th, 2018. The Guinea session which marked the start of this programme was held from July 17th to 22nd, 2017. It brought together 50 people all motivated candidates selected after a call for applications that registered 118 entries. After Guinea, the programme went to Mauritania, Senegal, Niger and The Gambia. In January 2018, it arrived in Burkina Faso to train 25 civil society media actors and 25 professional journalists.

 

How many participants so far?

The first phase rolled out in the six countries (Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Niger, Burkina Faso) enabled to train more than 250 people. It should be noted that we have many people in each country who wish to benefit from the programme. We are very often obliged to proceed with a selection after the application. This shows the great interest that this programme arouses. For this first edition, a total of 10 sessions of training seminars (theoretical and practical) are organized for 50 participants per session. Each session is comprises 2 groups of 25 people. A session lasts 6 days.

 

The sessions are organized in the French-speaking countries of West Africa and in The Gambia:

 

  1. Senegal
    2. Benin
    3. Cote d’Ivoire
    4. Guinea
    5. Togo
    6. Mali
    7. Mauritania
    8. Niger
    9. Burkina Faso
    10. The Gambia

 



B. Local Open Data Initiatives Driven by Africtivistes after the 2015 Dakar Summit

 

Guinea: The Association of Bloggers of Guinea (ABLOGUI) has developed the LAHIDI platform by collecting the electoral promises to make it a tool for monitoring and evaluating the level of implementation of the governance programmes of the heads of State and governments.

The network then supported the Guinean government and civil society for the country’s accession to and achieving the goals of the Open Government Partnership. It also provides several other capacity-building activities for civil society actors on data. Fodé Sanikayi Kouyaté, president of ABLOGUI, is a beneficiary of CFI's Open Data Media 1 and 2 project, which aims to create a network of African data activists.

 

Benin: The President of the Association of Bloggers of Benin and Africtivistes member Maurice Thantane is a data journalist and beneficiary of the CFI’s Open Data Médias.

 

Senegal: The Open Knowledge Senegal community through its  «Sénégal Ouvert» project is one of the first Senegalese initiatives in the field of data openness. Its coordinator Mamadou Diagne, a player in the Senegalese ecosystem and member of the AFRICTIVISTES network, is part of the coordination team that we propose to carry out this mission. This Senegalese community comprising AFRICTIVISTES aims to:

 

  • promote freedom of access, creation and dissemination of knowledge.
  • develop, support and promote projects, communities and tools that promote and facilitate the creation, access and dissemination of knowledge.
  • campaign against both legal and non-legal restrictions on the creation, access and dissemination of knowledge.

 

Cote d'Ivoire: The OVillage Tiers Lieux are the first actors in the collection, opening and exploitation of data in Cote d'Ivoire. Cyriac Gbogou and Florent Youzan, founders of the famous third place and both active members of the AFRICTIVISTES network will be interlocutors and main actors to support ideas and innovation. As a reminder, initiatives on access and openness data multiplied since the accession of Cote d'Ivoire to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on October 28nd, 2015 at the World Summit of Partnership for Open Government in Mexico.

C. Open Data in Africa: Commitment of the AFRICTIVISTES network

 

AFRICTIVISTES are today positioned as the most influential and representative network of web activists on the continent. In member countries, Africitivistes act on the ground and through digital media to promote transparency, participatory democracy and accountability. Open data has become an indispensable means for citizen control of public action, for the reform of governance and the innovation of new digital services of general interest.

 

On the occasion of this second Summit, an African initiative on open data will be officially launched. The Data.Africa project and its Data School capacity building component will be developed on the sidelines of the Summit and officially launched during the works and in the presence of invited government representatives and international institutions.

  1. Ouagadougou Summit (June 2018)

The Africtivistes network is certainly a counter-power. But also, it is a source strong with proposals to help our governments and defend the aspirations of the African youths. The Ouagadougou summit under the theme: "Digital Democracy in Africa: Collaboration mechanism between government and civil society actors?” will be an opportunity to highlight the many citizen initiatives that contribute to the effectiveness of public policies and to bring governments to collaboration and co-construction. It will place particular emphasis on the role and interest of different actors in working together to address common challenges.

 

This summit will also be an advocacy space for more open, transparent and accountable governance in Africa. It will invite and encourage citizens to reuse public data to innovate, increase their power of control and proposal.

  • Discussion Topics

 

  1. Definition of the youth-driven movements in Africa: how do we define ourselves?

 

  • Youth-driven movements and the Arab Spring: what are the drivers of our commitment? What have we achieved? What are the elements that have changed the situation? Strengths and weaknesses: the role of youth-led movements today? Is the youth agenda a priority for new leaders?
  • Crisis in Burkina Faso, the role of youth mobilization in the overthrow of President Blaise Compaoré: lessons learned and current situation (role of youth and youth agenda)
  • Role of Y'en A Marre in the protection of the Constitution and the fight for alternative development policies; youth agenda in Macky Sall's administration
  • LUCHA and Filimbi: youth-led movements in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a constitutional crisis in 2016 on the eve of the election period; commitment of the LUCHA - Why? What are the expectations and how is this commitment perceived by the other youth groups in the country?
  • Youth movements [students?] in South Africa - fight for equal access to higher education; What is the agenda of the ANC / EFF / DA regarding youth?

 

  1. Constitutional crisis in Africa: African leaders circumvent the Constitution to stay in power: what are the motivations of these leaders to stay in power? What are the effective ways to guarantee a change of regime without any violence?

 

  • Reactions of governments and traditional civil society to young people who organize and protest
  • The inaction/silence of the African Union and regional organizations / bodies in addressing youth issues in Africa;

 

  1. What laws are in force? There is planned training on security and the use of the internet (online security and anonymity)

 

  • Democracy and Cyber Activism, the Importance of the Internet and Existing Laws Relating to the Internet in Africa

 

  1. The importance of open data in the innovation of general interest services and the citizen control of public action

 

  • How and why can activists engage in the fight against corruption?
  • What does the year of the fight against corruption in Africa mean for the youth_driven movements?

 

  1. Whistleblowers: new African armies for transparency and good governance or the myth of a new form of journalism in Africa?

 

  1. NGOs and international institutions: What type of projects can contribute to strengthening democracy in Africa?
  1. Objectives

Create a space for interaction and collaboration between governments, continental institutions and youth-led African movements.

Specific Objectives

Create for youth-led movements a space for sharing activism experience as well as drivers / inspirations of their commitment. It will also help identify common interests for joint initiatives.

 

Build a coordinated network of cyber activists and other young activists working for the protection of democracy and the rule of law foran  enhanced solidarity and peer support among youth-led movements.

 

Draft and adopt a collaborative strategy with governments, the African Union Commission and other regional bodies.

 

  1. Some themes for the Summit

 

  • Citizen participation and civic engagement
  • Education
  • Information and access to public data
  • Participatory governance
  • Denunciation
  • Fight against corruption and violation of human rights.

 

  1. Expected Results

 

Strengthen solidarity between youth-led movements through increased support for each other's campaigns and solidarity actions in individual cases

 

Establish a coordination of African youth activism

 

Members of youth-led movements master means of securing their online communication and protect their data

 

Define communication methods and strategies in the framework of African youth activism

 

Define a collaborative strategy with governments, the African Union and other regional bodies

 

Draft the United Youth Manifesto

 

  • Launch of the Data.Africa Platform

 

Several local, citizen or institutional initiatives for the promotion and opening data have been launched in several countries in French-speaking Africa. Due to the lack of a single interface and a directory, it is often difficult to know about some dedicated websites or activities carried out or ongoing. A directed communication fault also limits the exploitation of the datasets by the local media and other indicated targets.

 

In our proposal, we will set up an African platform called www.data.africa to document all existing initiatives and projects. It will also be the interface to aggregate the latest content published through the national projects. It will serve as a database but above all an excellent tool for communicating on the projects carried by the various members and actors of the community.

  • DataSchool and DataCamp : Organise activities and events to strengthen collaboration and local initiatives

 

AFRICTIVISTES intends to divide the French-speaking countries into two zones in order to hold activities and events in the implementation of this project. The choice of this division is justified by the relative proximity between these countries. The countries are divided as follows:

 

  • Zone A: Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Togo, Mauritania

 

  • Zone B: Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad

 

DataSchool Libreville (ZONE B) - Central Africa

DataSchools are training and initiation meetings for Open Data. They are organised to share experience but especially to equip the local actors to answer  questions on knowledge, the understanding of the stakes, the production and the integration of open data in their activities.

 

DataCamp Niger (ZONE A) - West Africa

The DataCamp is an meeting around issues, collection, production and exploitation. This is an opportunity to bring together the Africtivistes community in a country where the issue of data is yet to come up. This justifies the choice of Niger. One of the few countries in West Africa where citizen initiatives are almost non-existent. There are no commitment, no involvement and no project on data. The DataCamp is a space for training and also production. An open data web portal will be set up with the participation of the local community. It is also an opportunity to create a first local network on open data.

 

The DataSchool in Libreville and the DataCamp in Niamey will be organized during the first quarter of the implementation of the project.

 

In addition to the two regional activities mentioned above, national events will be organized in each of the countries covered, with a one-day face-to-face activity per quarter - making four face-to-face events per country. The AFRICTIVISTS focal points will coordinate these quarterly meetings.

  1. The Organiser (AFRICTIVISTES)

The League of African cyber activists for democracy commonly called AFRICTIVISTES, is the union of bloggers and web activists of the African continent to promote and defend democratic values, human rights and good governance through digital media.

 

AFRICTIVISTES was established in November 2015 to interconnect all the actors of change in Africa so as to provide practical and appropriate solutions to the major problems that hinder the development and unity of the continent.

 

As a dynamic organisation open to all African countries, AFRICTIVISTES focuses on the "Consolidation of democracy" not only at the level of each country but also and especially at the continental level. The consolidation of democracy means any action moving towards a real democracy, participatory democracy, e-democracy, e-governance and an effective anchoring of democratic culture in our respective countries

 

AFRICTIVITES is a sentinel of democracy in all African countries. As such, the League is committed to directly intervene or advocate for the involvement of stakeholders in the various processes of political and social change. It leads and pilots development projects and citizen involvement in democratic systems. It develops strategies to monitor and watch over the political leaders in their actions and in the fulfilment of their promises to encourage transparency and good governance. It is a showcase for enhanced citizenship in Africa.

 

The main intervention areas of AFRICTIVISTES are:

  • Participatory democracy
  • Good governance
  • Transparency including open data
  • Fight against corruption
  • Culture of peace
  • Cybersecurity

 

Our values as AFRICTIVISTES

The Africtivistes are united by the following values:

  • We pledge to conduct our activities within the boundaries of the law.
  • We promise to uphold democracy in our country and in Africa through participatory citizenship
  • We renew our commitment to a non-partisan citizen policy.
  • We commit to ensure electoral and democratic processes.
  • We pledge to support participatory democracy movements and initiatives
  • We reaffirm our commitment to promote good governance and strengthen African solidarity and defend human rights.

 

Background on the AFRICTIVISTES network

 

The creation of social movements in Africa in response to some human rights violations, increased participatory citizenship, and the civic engagement and spontaneous solidarity of African youth online triggered the creation of a pan-African network - a new breed of citizens committed to socio-democratic change. In fact, many citizen actions have been initiated, financed and carried out across the continent by citizens.

 

In 2008, young Kenyans created a web application called Ushahidi during the post-election crisis. It allowed people living near conflict areas to see "dangerous places" on the map. The application has since been used all over the world.

 

In 2010, young Ivorians launched #CIV2010 and #CIVSOCIAL, hashtags corresponding to two citizen initiatives to meet the challenges of the electoral period and to cope with the post-election crisis respectively.

 

In 2012, Senegalese bloggers under #SUNU2012 covered the entire electoral process with a new digital monitoring and election observation system, thus preventing fraud and, to a lesser extent, the post-election crisis. This electronic observation has been a breakthrough in citizen participation in Africa.

 

The only tool available to young people was mobile phones and their plan was to take pictures of the results at each tallying center, while an application informed the results in real time and thus informed the general public ahead of the journalists.

 

In 2012, Ghanaian youths launched #GhanaDecides a response to citizen participation in electoral processes.

 

From 2012 to 2016, Africa has experienced several other citizen initiatives: electronic election observation including Vote229 in Benin, GuinéeVote in Guinea, monitoring the implementation of election promises with Mackimeter in Senegal, Buharimetre in Nigeria, Presimeter in Burkina Faso, Lahidi in Guinea and Talonmeter in Benin. These projects, except Mackimeter and Buharimetre, are run by members of the AFRICTIVISTES network.

 

We have noted that elections very often trigger crises in Africa. With ruling parties wanting to hang on to power and opposition parties tending to reject election results, activists, bloggers, whistleblowers and sources are seen by the latter as the new " State enemies" in some countries.

 

The involvement of this new type of citizen, sentinels of democracy, in the electoral process, the management of the state affairs, the demand for accountability, comforts the notion of an African youth master of his/her destiny.

 

Beyond the field of transparency, good governance and accountability, AFRICTIVISTES also carries activities of advocacy, support  to communities, many of which have borne fruit. Here are a few:

 

#FreeMakaila which prevented the extradition to Chad of journalist Makaila Nguebla by the Senegalese authorities and his expulsion to Guinea where the community mobilized to welcome him before he got an asylum in France.

 

#GiveUsTheSerum denouncing the fact that the Ebola serum was only available to infected Westerners while hundreds of people were already infected and some died of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

 

#FreeSanna calling on the Gambian authorities not to indict journalist Sanna Camara for publishing articles on human trafficking.

 

#FreeSait asking for the release of the activist known as Sait Matty Jaw whose only wrong had been to prepare the realization of opinion poll in The Gambia.

 

# Juste1Pourcent for MPs in Burkina Faso to pass a new Mining Code that requires mining companies to pay 1% of their gross revenue into a local development fund.

 

Today, we have launched a huge training program for civil society media actors and professional journalists. A CyberSecurity training program to equip 500 participants from 10 West African countries. Africa Media CyberSecurity was launched on July 17th, 2017 in Conakry. The first phase rolled out in the six countries (Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Niger, Burkina Faso) enabled to train more than 250 people. It will cover the other four remaining countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Benin and Togo) to close the first edition of this programme before the Ouagadougou summit in June 2018.

 

The creation of AFRICTIVISTES has demonstrated the importance of connecting physically in order to federate the diverse expertise of the members and strengthen offline common actions, after having maintained strong links online for years, in order to contribute to the creation of a better and democratic Africa.