Stories about Sub-Saharan Africa

Access denied: the social and economic costs of Nigeria’s Twitter blackout 

President Buhari of Nigeria has perceived Twitter’s support for the 2020 youth-led #EndSARS protests, together with the deletion of his tweet, as an act of hostility.

Nigerian government suspends Twitter after controversy over president's deleted tweet threatening violence

Nigeria twitter users from different ethnic groups adopted Igbo names while trending the #IamIgboToo hashtag to express their solidarity with the Igbo people, targets of President Buhari’s offensive tweet.  

‘A day without internet is a day in the dark’: The Gambia's growing digital divide

In the Gambia, frequent internet outages and overall instability have made everyday life an increasingly frustrating challenge, impeding both national development and individual growth. 

The Gambia’s missed opportunity for digital rights reform

Gambians held high hopes for digital rights reforms under President Adama Barrow. But the draft constitution fell short on its promise to adequately protect digital rights.

Post-Magufuli, will Tanzania review its repressive online content regulations? 

Tanzania's content regulations are often used to undermine and clamp down on digital rights and freedom of expression. With a newly sworn-in president, will the government review these repressive laws?

Sierra Leone’s new cybercrime bill could turn a phone into a crime scene 

Sierra Leone’s cybercrime bill could turn a citizen’s smartphone into a crime scene at a moment’s notice. 

Kenya police turn to Twitter PR as the arrest of a blogger goes against public opinion

“Somehow, the [Directorate of Criminal Investigations] believes that PR, and specifically ‘live-tweeting,’ will change Kenyans' perception without bringing about the much needed reforms within the force.”

Sudan's revised cybercrime law falls short on its promise

Political activist Owar Alsadig’s lawsuit sparked controversy over the nature of Sudan’s current information and cybercrime laws, and the potential to abuse these laws to limit freedom of expression.

Nigerian politician arrested for condemning the kidnap of schoolchildren

Salihu Tanko Yakasi’s tweets came after the kidnapping of about 300 school girls at Government Girls Secondary School inJangebe, north-western Nigeria, on February 26, 2021.

Freedom of expression in a downward spiral in Southern Africa, says new study

Outdated laws, exorbitant fees, and stifling of dissent have ramped up violations to the right of free expression in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Nigerian protesters arrested for resisting reopening of the Lagos Lekki toll gate

The protest came on the heels of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry's decision to reopen the toll gate— a move perceived as insensitive to victims of the Lekki shootings.

Is Mozambique trying to expel a foreign journalist?

Bowker is the founder of the news website Zitamar News, which in recent years has been praised for its coverage of the armed conflict in the Cabo Delgado province.

A social media blackout persists in Uganda, weeks after the election

Uganda's longtime leader Yoweri Museveni was reelected for a sixth term, as rival Bobi Wine alleges massive irregularities, state inspired violence, intimidation and harassment.

In Tanzania, full-throttle COVID-19 denial leaves citizens without access to public health information

Since March 2020, the Tanzanian government has gone silent on the coronavirus with no data released to the public on infections or deaths.

A Zimbabwean journalist, two opposition politicians jailed for tweets about police brutality

Hopewell Chin’ono, Job Sikhala and Fadzai Mahere were arrested for tweeting about a police officer who allegedly beat a baby to death while enforcing COVID-19 regulations.

COVID-19, digital rights and Nigeria's emerging surveillance state

In Nigeria, contact-tracing apps raise valid concerns about the government's attempts to leverage this for future clampdowns on citizens' digital rights — long after the pandemic is long gone. 

In Mozambique, a tug of war between public health and digital rights during the pandemic

Under an extended state of emergency in Mozambique, several new digital platforms emerged to disseminate COVID-19 information. But these initiatives lack clarity in terms of data privacy and personal security.

Kenya must implement data protection law before 2022 presidential election

Kenya must act quickly to enforce its new data protection law. If not prepared, the ghosts of Kenya’s political past may once again come back to haunt its citizens.

Lockdown to shutdown: How COVID-19 stifled digital rights in Zimbabwe

COVID-19 and its subsequent government policies have had far-reaching implications on digital rights and media freedom in Zimbabwe.

Namibia's COVID-19 internet rollout impresses, but excludes and widens control

Namibia's tech-driven effort to bring more Namibians online during the pandemic seems brilliant. But most of Namibia’s historically marginalized native populations have been excluded. 

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