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International Womens Day 2019:

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The much celebrated day of March 8th is the day we remember how much we owe to women in society's progress. It is also essential to remember why this date is dedicated to women who have sacrificed their lives fighting for the rights of women world over for a more equal world. We also need to reflect on the current role of women in society and challenges we are facing to make a better society, a society when there is a balance in terms of gender, especially when it comes in terms of high positions of power, especially in the Internet Governance scope. #BalanceForBetter was the hashtag chosen to reflect this women's celebration.

Digital Grassroots if 80% female led and 100% led by youth. We have achieved 50/50 margins in our Ambassadors program [see our cohort 1 outcome report here] and our Community Leaders are majority women.

This year, DIGRA prepared a Tweet Chat using quotes from Ambassadors and DIGRA Community related to EMPOWERING WOMEN IN ICT; This included special engag…

NYIGF: Nigeria Youth IGF 2019

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The Nigerian Youth Internet Governance Forum (NYIGF) was held on Wednesday 23rd January 2019 at the Center of Information, Technology and Systems (CITS, University of Lagos, Lagos State) and successfully launched a community of young Nigerians (under 35 years old) passionate about contributing to the development of a healthy Internet ecosystem and Internet technology in Nigeria. During the event, the official website of NYIGF was launched online. The main goal of the website is to bridge the gap between the initiative and the rest of the world, as expressed by the organisers.

In the first edition of the NYIGF, Uffa Modey, Vice President of DIGRA and main organiser of the event, introduced the attendees by telling them about the NYIGF Initiative, focusing on the need of youth engagement in both international and national Internet Governance discussions, in order to address the growing need for Nigerian Youth to participate in these important issues.


NYIGF 2019 had two panel sessions. T…

Venezuela: Digital Grassroots Signs Petition Against Internet Control

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By Eileen Cejas


Digital Grassroots, has joined other organizations in signing the petition  launched by Access Now to protest the upcoming draft bill called "Constitutional Law of Cyberspace of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela". This bill aims to give the government legal control over the Internet in Venezuela.

As the situation in Venezuela is getting worse everyday, with blockages of specific social media networks, citizens must do everything to defend their right of freedom of speech in a precarious political environment.

Recent news have shown that President Maduro has blocked the access to main Internet provider (CATV state provider) to block online communications especially during important political events. The blocked platforms include Wikipedia and Facebook.



Digital Grassroots expresses deep concern for the development of the Bill. There is an increased violation of digital rights across the globe with internet tax, censorship, internet shutdowns and bills being cre…

Safer Internet Day *Tweet Chat*

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Digital Grassroots joined Safer Internet Day and the International Centre For Leadership Development Nigeria (ICLDNG) for this special day established internationally in 2005. This year, Safer Internet Day was themed "Together for a better Internet" and we used the hashtags #SID2019, #SaferInternetDay, #SaferInternetDay2019, #DIGRA, #DigitalCitizen and #YouthInIG.

In order to celebrate this special day, Digital Grassroots organised a Tweet Chat at our Twitter account at 5pm UTC, where we discussed with our followers about measures to guarantee children's safety online as well as common issues related to privacy and more.



During the debate, we reached interesting comments from our Network. You can see them in the image below


Also, we prepare a video using quotes from our Ambassadors, who participated at the Communiqué 2018.


Credits: Mpieri Gregory and Eileen Cejas

Thanks for joining us at the Tweet Chat and we look forward to seering you at our next event.

MOZFEST: DIGITAL RIGHTS MONOPOLY

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In early May, Digital Grassroots participated in Mozilla Sprint as participants of Mozilla Open Leaders (MOL) cohort 5. After the cohort ended, we continued as mentor and experts in MOL 6. One way we continued in the pathway Mozilla offered us as Open Leaders was applying for the Mozilla Festival (MOZFEST) that took place in London, UK.


Digital Rights Monopoly is a game that reflects core digital rights issues affecting youth in marginalized regions, and offers pathways to build a healthier internet in local communities. In applying for Mozfest, we were looking for ways to create an interactive platform to share the digital rights issues our Ambassadors were experiencing. These are featured in our 'Communique: Youth Resolutions on Internet Governance' and across the spaces on the Digital Rights Monopoly board.





Digital Rights Monopoly was created by Esther Mwema, Uffa Modey, and Noha Ashraf. Su Sonia Herring was part of our team as co-facilitator. The Layout Design was also don…

SOCIAL MEDIA TAX BY ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT

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The introduction of the tax on internet phone calls in Zambia was passed this August 2018 during a cabinet meeting held at State House. This move comes after a high increase in the number of users who prefer to make calls through their mobile based applications such as Whatsapp and Viber. The implementation of this tax law means that the citizens of Zambia will incur double taxation in their communication charges.

"The mobile airtime that Zambians purchase to use for talk time and internet bundles is taxed and therefore subjecting people to a second tax is not only unfair but disastrous to the economic lives of the already struggling citizens."
Digital Grassroots strongly condemns the move by the Zambian government to tax internet phone calls at 30 ngwee a day. This is a violation of the digital rights of the Zambian people and an infringement to their freedom of speech and expression.

"Many internet users in Zambia are the young people aged between 18- 30 who rely on …

STATE OF THE NET UGANDA

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The Ugandan Parliament passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill which is social media tax legislation that is will take effect on 1st July.



This means that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp will be subject to a daily tax. There will be also be a levy on mobile money services.mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook 200 Ugandan shillings per day.

In the 2016 presidential election in Uganda the Ugandan authorities blocked access to social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp claiming that the sites would be used by the opposition to organize and mobilize people for protests. At this time mobile money services were also affected. Only about 5 million of around 42 million Ugandans have access to the banking sector leaving the rest to mobile money services.



The government claimed that it passed the legislation in order to raise revenue so as to offset the huge Ugandan national debt. Activists, lawyers and the peopl…