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Digital Dictatorship versus Digital Democracy in Africa

Less than a decade ago the Arab Spring was hailed as a game changer for global politics. Enhanced political debate via social media, a wider diversity of opinions and closer access to governments were meant to enhance social consensus and improve …

Temporary COVID-19 Spectrum - A Missed Opportunity for some Regulatory Innovation?

The release of the temporary spectrum in advance of the spectrum auction later this year or possibly next, provides us with an opportunity to correct course in order to meet our primary national digital objective of affordable access to the full ran…

Despite Reduction in Mobile Data Tariffs, Data Still Expensive in South Africa

This policy brief presents the data tariffs which have been reduced by MTN and Vodacom in South Africa from R149 per one GB to R99 per GB with effect from 1 April 2020. The two companies reduced data prices in response to the Competition Commission’…

Pour le Meilleur Comme le Pire, plus de Guinéens font Recours aux Médias Digitaux / For Better or Worse, more Guineans are using Digital Media

In the face of continuous technological change, the information consumption habits of Guineans are also changing. Although radio remains the most popular source of information, it is being challenged by television, and the Internet and social networ…

Despite Perceptions of Gender Equality, Africa's Rural Women Bear Brunt of Economic Exclusion

Gender equality is both Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 5 and a theme underpinning various other goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda highlights the need for gender-equal access to education, ownership of resources…

Multifaceted Challenges of Digital Taxation in Africa

Digitalisation has prompted the evolution of innovative business models and created new forms of value creation. In the mobile telecommunications industry, this has resulted in the ubiquity of over-the top (OTT) and other digital apps and services s…

COVID-19 and E-Governance: Lessons from South Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored global dependence on the Internet. In the face of travel restrictions and lockdowns, social media has emerged as a crucial factor in the maintenance of personal relationships, working environments and day-to-day…

COVID-19 Exposes the Contradictions of Social Media Taxes in Africa

The effectiveness of social media to reach a wide audience has made it a critical medium for many governments across Africa and beyond to provide reliable COVID-19 pandemic mitigation information to millions of people. In some African countries, th…

COVID-19 Compounds Historical Disparities and Extends the Digital Divide

The novel coronavirus has, in many ways, grossly affected the lives of people. In order to protect the health of the population and possibly curb the spread of the virus, countries around the world introduced containment measures including hard lock…

Digital Rights in Zimbabwe, UPR Submission, Session 40

Digital rights and freedoms should be accorded the same protection as offline rights and freedoms. Protection of freedom of expression, access to information, data protection and privacy have been guaranteed in international and regional instruments…

Digital Rights in South Sudan, UPR Submission, Session 40

Digital rights and freedoms should be accorded the same protection as offline rights and freedoms. Protection of freedom of expression, access to information, data protection and privacy have been guaranteed in international and regional instruments…

Digital Rights in Uganda, UPR Submission, Session 40

Digital rights and freedoms should be accorded the same protection as offline rights and freedoms. Protection of freedom of expression, access to information, data protection and privacy have been guaranteed in international and regional instruments…

Ethiopians Support Media's Watchdog Role but want Regulated Access to Internet, Social Media

Free and independent media is still a new phenomenon in Ethiopia. Although the downfall of the military regime in May 1991 triggered an unprecedented proliferation of print media, it didn’t last long. Draconian media laws promulgated by the Federal …

Civil Society in the Digital Age in Africa: Identifying Threats and Mounting Pushbacks

The digital age has created immense opportunities to enhance civic engagement by creating new frontiers for the exercise of freedom of association and peaceful assembly. These rights are recognised in seminal human rights instruments including artic…

How Telecom Companies in Africa can Respond Better to Internet Disruptions

The role of internet intermediaries, including mobile network operators, internet service providers, web hosting providers, social media platforms and search engines, is increasingly becoming critical as the internet permeates all aspects of society…

Mauritians' Demand for Democracy Remains High Despite Waning Quality

On 17 May2021, former attorney general and prominent government critic Jayaram Valayden was detained by Mauritian security forces and charged with organizing a rally in contravention of the country’s Quarantine Act, a COVID-19 containment measure th…

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