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OpenNet Africa

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

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 will also aim 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.

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Current project status

Just an idea (Pre-alpha)
It exists! (Alpha/Beta)
It's basically done (Release)
People use it (Production)

Funding to date

2014 $173,715 18 months
Internet Freedom Fund
2017 $65,300 6 months

Total Funding: $239,015

Addressed problems

  • Restrictive Internet filtering by technical methods (IP blocking, DNS filtering, TCP RST, DPI, etc.)
  • Repressive surveillance or monitoring of communication
  • Policies, laws, or directives that increase surveillance, censorship, and punishment
  • Blocking, filtering, or modification of political, social, and/or religious content (including apps)
  • Localized or nationwide communications shut down or throttling (Blackouts)

Objective(s)

  • Training
  • Deploying technology
  • Testing
  • Research

Beneficiaries

  • Technologists
  • Youth
  • Sexual minorities
  • Activists
  • Journalists
  • Advocacy groups/NGOs

Region(s)

  • Eastern Africa
  • Southern Africa

Countries

  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Sudan
  • Burundi
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • Ethiopia

Technology attributes

  • Application deployment
  • Sensitive data
  • User interface/experience
  • Anonymity

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