Rights Advocates In Africa Commend Ghana On Internet Freedom

Internet rights advocates representing various organisations across Africa have commended the Government of Ghana for progress the country has made in promoting and protecting Internet rights and freedoms locally and also, for the country’s commitment to global efforts to advance and defend internet rights.

The Internet rights advocates issued the statement at the end of a two-day meeting held in Accra on March 12 and 13. The meeting, hosted by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), discussed and reviewed a variety of issues relating to the popularization and implementation of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms, a Pan-African initiative to help promote internet freedom in Africa.

The group “expresses sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Ghana under the leadership of His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama, for the warm reception accorded the participants and, in particular, thank the Minister of Communications, Hon. Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, for accepting to receive the participants on a courtesy call, on behalf of the President of Ghana; and the Deputy Minister of Communications of Ghana, Mr. Ato Sarpong, for attending and declaring the meeting open.”

The group, however, raised concern about lingering challenges impeding the full enjoyment of Internet rights and freedoms in Ghana and other African countries, including the problems of inadequate access to the Internet by citizens, particularly women and other marginalized groups. Other concerns were the high cost of access, inadequate security and protection for Internet users online as well as the absence of a legal framework for access to information by citizens.

The group also welcomed commitments by Ghana’s Ministry of Communications to work with Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders to address outstanding challenges on internet freedom. It further urged other African governments to emulate the Government of Ghana and take urgent steps to address issues on internet governance, rights and freedoms within a multi-stakeholder framework.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Civil Society Organizations from Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda as well as international partners in the United Kingdom.

Please click here to read the statement issued by the group.

Issued by the MFWA in Accra on March 16, 2015.
The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and of expression.

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