Freedom Online: Is the Government doing enough? Roundtable Debate | August 30, 6pm | iHub

By Rachel Gichinga
  Published 23 Aug 2012
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The Internet has become a way of life for many Kenyans, but are you truly free to use the Internet as you would want? Bloggers contribute a lot of content online, but how free are they to communicate their idea and opinions? Citizens contribute a lot of their personal data when they access services online. How safe is their data and identity as they interact with local companies on the internet? The Internet gives us access to important information that can be turned into knowledge and used to improve standards of living, create livelihood through entrepreneurship and even improve wellbeing through access to health information. What happens when you are unable to access the internet because you are in a remote part of Kenya? Whose responsibility is it to make sure you can access the internet and what is the role of private sector and Government? Governments around the world make decisions on freedom of expression, universal access and data protection—most to ensure these freedoms are promoted. The Government of Kenya is among a group of pioneering governments that have committed to actively promote freedom online through the Freedom Online Coalition founded in the Netherlands in 2011. The Freedom Online Coalition committed to meet annually at a global Conference; Kenya is proud to host the second Freedom Online Conference, which will run from September 6-7 at the UN Complex, Gigiri. In preparation for the Conference, young activists, techies, bloggers and internet users are invited to explore and debate the themes of the conference at a round table event hosted at the iHub.

Why attend the Roundtable?

Government laws and policies can have a significant impact on citizens and businesses. To ensure the Government understands how its decisions can impact daily life and enterprise, citizens and groups must make their voice heard. The Internet Freedom Conference is an excellent platform to lobby Government and highlight issues that pertain to daily and corporate use of the Internet in Kenya. To be effective in talking to Government, it is important to have a platform and a clear message. Join us at the pre-event Roundtable on Thursday July 30th 2012 to ensure your views and experience are captured and communicated to the Government of Kenya and global community. Register here to attend.

Who should attend?

  • Online content publishers like bloggers, website owners and application developers
  • Business owners or staff that offer online services like e-commerce and hosting
  • Activists and Dissidents that have an important agenda for the people of Kenya
  • Civil Society Groups who promote freedom and universal access

Who will speak at the Roundtable?

The roundtable will encourage debate among participants and will feature discussion and interaction throughout. In addition, the Roundtable will feature some comments from subject-matter experts to help frame the discussions and recommendations, including:
  • Dr Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communications
  • Eunice Kariuki, Marketing Director Kenya ICT Board
Representatives from:
  • ARTICLE 19
  • Pawa254
  • National Council for Law Reporting
  • BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya)
  • Among others

Outcomes of the Roundtable

The discussions and debate from the Roundtable will be formulated into policy recommendations for Government action regarding Internet Freedom in Kenya. Representatives will be selected at the Roundtable to present these recommendations to Government leaders at a plenary session of the Internet Freedom Conference. This is a unique opportunity to have your voice heard. Come and discuss what the Internet Freedom means to you.
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