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After three weeks of community engagement focused on Internet of Things, Local Content, and Local Policy discussions, our most competitive Ambassadors made it to the mentorship phase. Fifty DIGRA Ambassadors from every continent are being mentored by leaders in the Internet Governance space to prepare them for youth engagement in Internet Governance.

Digital Grassroots is honored by the dedication and volunteerism of the leaders collaborating with us to ensure our Ambassadors kickstart their youth engagement in Internet Governance. The 4 week mentorship phase will include topics on the role of youth in Internet Governance, identifying their stakeholder group, digital inclusion, networking in IG and shaping the future we want by contributing to a communique highlighting the needs of youth in local communities.

Meet our mentors, highlighted below in no particular order. Each of our mentors represent 9 different countries in 4 continents, collaborating via internet for capacity building …
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Local Policies - DIGRA Ambassadors Program

The final week of training for Cohort 1 Digital Grassroots Ambassadors before the mentorship phase was on Internet for Economy. Following a take on Internet ofThings and Local Content, the youth channeled their community engagement to internet policies affecting their community.

Local policies are vital in building and maintaining the core values of a healthier internet. The openness and bottom-up approach of internet governance only works when every digital citizen participates and defends their digital rights, which includes human rights such freedom of expression and privacy.

DIGRA Ambassador Eileen said;

"Unfortunately, employers (use) your online identity as a prerequisite for hiring and during work as a way to control how you could be useful for the job... that is severe intrusion in our privacy. Social media representation of ourselves is not always accurate...
We can't forget that, as soon as we accept the terms and conditions to create a user in some online platform, we …


"The term local content is derived from two root words: local and content. From these two independent words, it is safe to define local content on the internet as the amount of information, articles and other materials online which people in the particular region can relate to. Increasing local content on the internet is one of the ways by which Africa at large can get increase participation and use of the internet."                                       -  Modupe Ojo, DIGRA Ambassador  -

In the second week of training, the Ambassadors took on the theme 'Internet for Social Life' and explored three topics including; Digital Citizen Identity, Digital Footprint, and Screen Time Management.

After an exciting week of community engagement on Internet of Things, they were now charged to investigate what it means to be a digital citizen in their local communities. In addition to being digital citizens, Ambassadors interviewed people in their communities what they thought a…

Internet of Things - DIGRA Ambassadors Program

Digital Grassroots works to proactively engage youth in addressing internet related issues in their communities through digital literacy, networking, and online activism. This month, we launched our maiden Digital Grassroots Ambassadors program. Our selected Ambassadors come from 36 countries across the globe and our gender distribution in the cohorts was 50/50.

The above cover photo from Wevyn Muganda proves youth are doing great things in their community through internet literacy and our program is fostered to create more community engagement through youth to eradicate issues online, which inevitably will increase wellbeing offline.

In reference to the photo, Wevyn writes:

'The biggest problem in the communities nearby now is the rise of online recruitment to violent extremism and radicalisation (Mombasa, Kenya). While recruitment is still taking place offline through recruiters, now it is moving to social media spaces. My colleagues and I conducted this training to empower the …

FAQs: Digital Grassroots Ambassadors Program

On 10th January 2018, we published a call to action inviting young people between the ages 14 and 29 to be Digital Grassroots Ambassadors. To date, we have received over 700 applications. Successful participants will be notified on 15th February 2018.

We received some common questions:-

Q: Can I apply if I'm 13 turning 14, or 29 years old turning 30 this year? No. Our program is open to persons who are already 14 years old at the time of application, and are not turning 30 in 2018.

Q: Do I need to pay a fee to be part of this program? There is no fee associated with this program in any form or at any part of the process. We will only appreciate a commitment of time.

Q: When and where will the program take place? The program begins in mid-February and ends in April. All interaction will be done online via the internet except for community engagement.

Q: What will the required community engagement involve? Community engagement is about sharing some information from the program to o…

How Digital Grassroots is Bridging the Digital Divide

Digital Grassroots was created to help close the digital divide in each trainer’s home country. As part of the Youth@IGF course in October, participants were asked to pitch proposals for new projects that aim to solve internet issues. One fellow wrote about a digital literacy and adoption project and it was put it to a vote thus, Digital Grassroots was born, and we are now working to make this project a reality.
Digital Grassroots is a youth network developed to proactively engage youth in addressing internet problems at a grassroots level. Digital Grassroots team members will create a Digital Literacy course called Internet Literacy Class, based on the 8 Digital Citizenship (DQ) principles. The project will include an Internet Literacy Class (ILC), Digital Natives Network (DNN), and an Internet Activism (IA) program focusing on issues that affect a safe internet for all.
We will create a call to action across the globe for trainers of internet literacy. Selected trainers will train 10 …

Proposals for Closing the Digital Divide

The existing barriers to universal digital access are slowly but surely being dissolved by proactive internet governance organizations.

Many solutions have been proposed, such as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg’s solution to offer Free Basics. This program allowed users to access some websites for free, but made some completely unavailable. Free Basics is currently available in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, though a few countries have now banned it for violating net neutrality principles.
In response, Google installed free wifi hotspots at public transportation stations in India and Indonesia, with hopes to expand to more locations in the next ten years. These hotspots allow individuals who may not be able to afford internet to access high speeds at no cost.
Google also launched Project Loon to help people in difficult to reach areas -- such as rural locations or those with rough terrain -- get online. This project transmits wifi signals via hot air balloon recepto…

Existing Barriers to Universal Digital Access

Following our review on the existing state of universal digital access and its importance, we started to look at the existing barriers to universal digital access.

About 4 billion unconnected individuals across the globe cannot access internet as a result of one or more of the following key issues:
a.Infrastructure: People in rural areas are faced with the challenge of distance. They are often far from established infrastructure points, and these areas typically have few people living there. That makes the cost of connectivity per person significantly higher, and decreases internet service providers’ incentives to build out to them. The case for developing countries is even more serious due to the fact that infrastructure still lags. “Mobile online coverage is the main means of internet connectivity for most people in these areas, as 95% of the world’s population is covered by at least a 2G network, and 69% is covered by 3G connectivity or better, although the extent of 3G or better cov…