The session focused on three sub-themes:
Fake news, misinformation and disinformation (and their agendas) as a threat to democracy
- Including media suppression
Internet shutdowns - internet governance
- Digital rights
- Recourse for citizens, where can civic tech come in, civil society,
- How can organisations such as civic tech organisations, civil society organisations etc band together and fight threats to democracy through technology?
Access to information
- How can Africans enjoy the full benefits of the internet especially during the pandemic?
- How technology can improve or undermine democracy depending on how it is used and who controls it.
Regional Director of EndCode
Pria Chetty has 12 years experience as a technology law and policy advisor to public and private sector organisations, developing country governments and international organisations. In 2007, Pria founded a leading South African technology law firm which was acquired by Pricewaterhouse Coopers in 2011. Following the acquisition, Ms. Chetty was responsible for establishing and heading the technology legal and regulatory service area for the PwC national advisory practice. She left PwC in 2013 and went on to serve as an expert consultant on an ITU project focusing on technical assistance in the area of cybersecurity law and policy for Southern African countries. As a thought leader, Pria has presented at local and international technology conferences and published in local and international newspapers, magazines, and journals. She has also published book chapters examining emerging technology law and policy topics with particular emphasis on recommendations for developing countries. Pria currently has served as a member of regional and international expert groups and advisory boards including the BRICS Cybersecurity Expert Group and Wikimedia ZA. She was also an Associate at the Global Cybersecurity Centre at Oxford University.
Pria is passionate about facilitating technology law and policy that enables ICT opportunities in Africa.
Project Coordinator: Democracy, Transparency and Digital Rights Unit
Hlengiwe Dube is a PhD candidate and Programme Manager with the Centre For Human Rights, University of Pretoria. She manages projects on freedom of expression, access to information, digital rights and other issues that fall within the democracy purview within the Centre's Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratization in Africa from the Centre for Human Rights. She has previously worked with the secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative
Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, a pan-African social enterprise working on digital inclusion and digital rights through its offices in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University. Prior to starting Paradigm Initiative, 'Gbenga led the Lagos Digital Village, a joint project of Junior Achievement of Nigeria, Microsoft and Lagos State Government.
Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, he completed Executive Education programs at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University and University of the Pacific. 'Gbenga's consulting experience includes assignments completed for numerous institutions, including Microsoft, Harvard University and United Nations agencies, among others, in over 30 countries.
A Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and former member of the United Nations Committee of eLeaders on Youth and ICT, he is a CyberStewards Fellow, Crans Montana Forum Fellow, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, Our Common Future Fellow and Cordes Fellow.