Policy and legal frameworks and Freedom of Expression in East Africa
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Policy and legal frameworks and Freedom of Expression in East Africa

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Policy and legal frameworks and Freedom of Expression in East Africa

Policy and legal frameworks and Freedom of Expression in East Africa
Lillian Nalwoga
CIPESA

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Policy and legal frameworks and Freedom of Expression in East Africa Policy and legal frameworks and Freedom of Expression in East Africa Presentation Transcript

  • Policy and legal frameworks and Freedom of Expression in East Africa Presentation by Lillian Nalwoga ICT4Democracy in East Africa Workshop Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; December 05-06, 2012 Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • About CIPESA• Formed in 2005 under CATIA• Focus – Inclusive / empowering ICT [4D] Policy• Ends – Decision making that facilitates the use of ICT in support of development and poverty reduction• Kampala base, regional reach, network- partnerships• Informing policy-making, stirring debate, ICT Policy and research Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Our work• Activities• ICT Policy advocacy• Research & Debates• Information resourcesThematic areas• Internet Governance• Open data & e-Governance• Online freedoms• ICT 4 Democracy Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa View slide
  • E-participation policy focus areas• Access to information• Privacy Vs. data protection• Freedom of Expression• Access and affordability (cost of access) Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa View slide
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, Article 19 states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted aDeclaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa in October2002. “Public bodies hold information not for themselves but as custodians of the public good and everyone has a right to access this information, subject only to clearly defined rules established by law.” Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • How do policy and legalframeworks in East Africa impactFreedom of Expression and free flow of information? Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Freedom of Expression• Freedom of expression is enshrined in all constitutions -  in Tanzania, -Article 18 of the Tanzanian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression and the right to seek, receive and impart information. But the constitution in semi- autonomous Zanzibar only gives citizens the right to receive information.  Kenya Bill of rights, article 34 allows for freedom of media Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Access to Information• Uganda - Constitution under Article 41 gives the people a right to access information and data.  Access to information Act, 2005• Kenya – Bill of Rights, Article 35 Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Privacy and data protectionUniversal Declaration of Human Rights 9UDHR)1948, Article 12; provides… “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspendence, nor attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has a right to the protection if the law aganst such interference or attacks.” Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Privacy and data protection• Kenya: The Kenya Information and Communication Act- s. 29 makes it an offence for any person to send messages that are grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, or those that are false and are intended to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety on others.• Uganda – Computer Misuse Act, 2011, The Communications Act (2000), The Regulation of Interception of Communications 2010, Electronic Transactions Act (2011) and the proposed Uganda Communications Regulatory Authority Bill (2012) Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Access and affordability• Cost of access – is it affordable?• Rural Communications Development Policy – in Uganda and Kenya• Social media such as Facebook and twitter are seen to be adding effectiveness of the internet as an enabler for civic participation and free flow of information. Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Uncondusive policy and regulatory frameworks• In Tanzania- the Police Force and Auxiliary Police Act of 2002, Sections 43, 44, 45 and 46 provide a number of subjective unrestricted powers to police officers without laying down objective criteria for issuing stop orders when censoring information.• National Security Act of 1970 gives the government absolute capacity to define what should be disclosed to or withheld from the public, and makes it a punishable offence to in any way investigate, obtain, possess, comment on, pass on or publish any document or information which the government considers to be classified.• 1976 Newspaper Act sets limitations on what public servants can reveal to the public. Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Uncondusive policy and regulatory frameworks• Uganda: Interception of Communications Act, 2010 , Anti-Terrorism Act , Communications Act (2000) - The law also gives UCC the power to (in case of a state of emergency or in the interest of public safety) “take temporary possession of any communications station within Uganda, and any apparatus which may be installed and used in the station, for a period not exceeding six months”• Kenya Draft Data Protection Bill, 2007, The Penal Code –makes a person liable for defamation if they publish or convey defamatory material Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • So how can EA governments use new technology tools to enable free flow of information and enhance freedom of expression Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • • Open up – pratice open government, data should be made readily available in easy to ready format (Kenya and Tanzania have joined the Open Government Partnership) done so but Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi is still is lagging behind.) Principle IV(2) of the African Declaration supports this, stating that,“public bodies shall be required, even in the absence of a request, actively to publish important information of significant public interest”. Principle- Enact and implement laws that promote access to information – in Tanzania the Right to Information Act; Public Leadership Code of Ethics Act, and; Whistleblowers Act are still in draft form. In 2007, the Information Ministry of Kenya published a draft RTI policy and bill but it is yet to be passed into law. Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • • Harmonise regulatory frameworks in the region• Laws which are inconsistent with the principle of maximum disclosure should be amended or repealed• Invest in developing local content to enable participation• Remove barriers to ICT – reduce cost of accessing the internet, tax on ICT especially mobile phones Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Role of civil society- Advocacy on policy change- Awareness creation for change in perception and attitude towards Freedom of expression and access to information- Undertake evidence based research to enable advocacy on the need for free flow of information and freedom of expression Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Thank you! Asante!Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa
  • Contact usCollaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) Plot 156-158 Mutesa II Road, Ntinda, P.O. Box 4365, Kampala, Uganda; Tel: +256 414 289 502; Cell: +256 772 406 241; +256 712 204 335 Email: programmes@cipesa.orgLike Us: Facebook: www.facebook.com/cipesaug Follow us: #cipesaug Promoting effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa