=By Funmi Falobi=
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) have launched “The African Union: a guide for human rights defenders in the digital age“, an advocacy tool designed to enhance civil society engagement with the African Union system on digital policy issues.
In a joint statement, the two organizations hinged the publication of the advocacy guide on the fact that the AU is an important political actor on the African continent and a regional interlocutor in the international arena, which makes it imperative that organisations seeking to advance respect for human rights in digital policy have the right knowledge and skills to engage the AU.
They explained that the aim of the 43-page guide is to help civil society organisations who are conducting or intend to conduct policy advocacy within the African Union system on the human rights aspects of any ICT or digital policy issues at the AU, including for example network disruptions.
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, MRA’s Executive Director and Ms Grace Githaiga, Co-Convenor of KICTANet, said: “Whether you have experience of engaging with the AU but are lacking ideas on how to use the AU to advocate for human rights in the digital age, or an experienced digital rights defender unfamiliar with the AU, this guide is for you!”
The guide presents an overview of relevant organs, departments and agencies of the African Union, outlines how they operate and provides guidance on the opportunities that exist for civil society as well as strategies for ensuring effective advocacy engagement on relevant digital policy issues.