DRIF22: Call for Session Proposals

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It is that special time again when Paradigm Initiative invites a diverse group of stakeholders to host sessions at the digital community convening, the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF). DRIF is an important platform where conversations on digital policy in Africa are shaped, policy directions debated and partnerships forged for action. In 2021, DRIF21 hosted 32 sessions and 445 registered attendees while thousands followed the event online. DRIF hosts diverse skills and capacities for enhancing digital rights and inclusion on the African continent and beyond.  It is a Paradigm Initiative (PIN) flagship platform for communities of practice on freedom of expression online, access to information, privacy, Internet access, women’s rights online, Internet shutdowns, digital empowerment for underserved communities, inclusive digital access and similar themes. DRIF has in the past attracted diverse members of civil society, the technical community, academia, government, and the private sector for shared engagements.

The signature event has set its tone as the arena for interrogating the digital environment in Africa, discussing global trends and presenting solutions for tackling the challenges faced. DRIF22 will be convened yet again, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and against the backdrop of challenges such as violations of privacy in health surveillance, the use of repressive laws to curtail media freedoms, the unruly Internet shutdowns and the increasing digital divide in some African countries.  The 9th edition of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF) will be held virtually from 12 – 14 April 2022 under the theme Towards a digitally inclusive and rights respecting Africa and thereafter followed by a series of in-person DRIF22 sessions until the 12th of June 2021 hosted in collaboration with partners across Africa. DRIF22 will end with a closing session on 13 June 2022. In offering a multi-sectoral forum, sessions will be hosted by diverse stakeholders including civil society organizations, policy makers, legal/policy experts, technology companies, academia, advocates, researchers and national human rights institutions. The objectives for DRIF22 are to create platforms for discussing key issues, to develop action plans for enhancing digital rights and inclusion in Africa and to increase networks and collaborations.

Guidelines for session proposals

We are pleased to invite Virtual Session Proposals which seek to unearth the challenges faced in Africa and proffer solutions to a digitally inclusive and digital rights respecting continent. Sessions may embrace a multi-sectoral approach, showcase any new developments or tools, be innovative in format and seek to address the issues faced. PIN welcomes session proposals which may focus on national or regional experiences but still have an impact in shaping strategies in Africa. PIN welcomes sessions in the form of panel discussions, lectures, ignite talks, pre-recorded content and launches of key products, tools, publications or organisations in the digital ecosystem. Any other innovative formats will be considered. Sessions will be hosted in English, French and Portuguese.

The due date for session proposals is 10 September 2021 and successful session proposals will be notified by 28 September 2021.  The call for participants will be published by 10 January 2022.

If you have any questions, kindly email to drif@paradigmhq.org with DRIF22 in the subject line.

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