Information Communication Technology Policy Program (IPP)
The ICT Policy Program (IPP) at CIPIT seeks to understand how advances in information technology affect state-citizen-market relations in the contemporary African state.
As information technology and especially the Internet spreads across Africa, it is reshaping state-citizen relations, economy and social activities in unprecedented ways. Important to us though is that while ICT offers efficiency and increased opportunities to a wide range of sectors in society, it also creates along with it challenges in social and technical spaces for example in the form of privacy intrusion, unconsented surveillance and cyber crime. How best Africa leverages on the opportunities extended by the Information technology revolution while limiting the loss of national values, material wealth and fundamental freedoms calls for sustained and dedicated research on this area.
To better respond to this need the program draws a multidisciplinary faculty from law, political science, computer science and development while using diverse methodological approaches to inform debates on ICT application, regulation, security and freedom in cyberspace.
The program aims at two things:
- Generate empirically-grounded research relevant to Africa on social, economic and political impact of ICT and especially on the role of legal frameworks in the ICT ecosystem.
- Inform policy debates and practice by sharing our research findings with governments, civil society, business communities and the citizens to ensure state and corporate ends are met while respecting fundamental citizen rights.
The project involves tracking the legal and political processes in the drafting, adoption and ratification of the AU Convention on e-Commerce, Data Processing and Cybersecurity. We have shared our research and recommendations with the African Union Secretariat, Member States and relevant actors in the ICT ecosystem in Africa on how the Convention can balance between security and liberty.
National Security Practice and Internet Freedom in Eastern Africa
The project, a part of the Information Controls Fellowship program of the Open Technology Fund, seeks to understand the role, if any, of National Security Agencies in limiting or promoting Internet Freedom in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. It investigates the practices of security agencies in these countries from a conceptual construction of national security and the meaning this brings to what is legal or not.
Reframing Local Knowledge: ICTs, State-building, and Peacebuilding in Eastern Africa.
This project seeks to bring greater clarity about the expectations and the realities of the use of communication technologies in developing contexts. It explores the use of ICTs in Eastern Africa at the macro level by examining how norms and practices in the field of ICT which have emerged internationally are adopted, resisted or reshaped at the local level and at the micro level, by exploring how the practices and policies promoted at the international and national level actually compare to the uses citizens make of ICTs.
Our partners include:
- Open Technology Fund (OTF)
- Internet Society (ISOC)
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