The OpenNet Africa initiative is working to bolster digital rights and security knowledge for at-risk groups in five African countries.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, many countries are beginning to escalate their efforts to censor online content and threaten the digital safety of activists, journalists, human rights defenders, and vulnerable populations. OpenNet Africa by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) is building digital rights knowledge as well as digital security and safety capacity of human rights defenders, media, vulnerable women and the LGBTQI organizations in five African countries – Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Rwanda. This will enable these civic actors to work securely and effectively to promote human rights and to become infomediaries and multipliers of digital security knowledge and skills. The project also aims to empower tech innovators (mobile and web app developers, programmers and engineers) to appreciate needs finding in technology-for- human rights through understanding usability and security vulnerabilities in tools design.

Previously, this project worked to document internet rights violations, reviewing cyber security policies and their impact on internet freedom, promote information availability and create awareness about internet freedom, with a focus on Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.