The Mozilla Festival House: Kenya brought together diverse communities to discuss, debate and connect around some of the most pressing issues impacting the region, such as the role of technology in propagating social injustices in Africa.
In just the first day, participants began developing practical solutions to issues like digital extractivism. Attendees discussed introducing global content moderation unions advocating for fair and equitable wages, and building strong solidarity for digital labor movements.
(TOP: From left – Koliwe Majama, Senior Programme Officer Mozilla and Daniel Motaung).
Policymakers, technologists and activists in attendance delved into how emerging technologies like AI have furthered the marginalization of vulnerable groups across the continent and how extractive data practices continue to broaden this gap.
Says J. Bob Alotta, the Senior VP, Global Programs, Mozilla: “Right now, East Africa – and the continent more broadly – is pushing for tech sovereignty. The policymakers, technologists, and activists at MozFest Kenya are on this campaign’s frontlines, actively pursuing an internet where African perspectives and needs are the status quo.”
Says Chenai Chair, Senior Program Officer, Africa Innovation Mradi: “Digital extractivism is core to how many emerging technologies are being built – but it doesn’t have to be. The community at MozFest House is challenging exploitative patterns, like Big tech companies irresponsibly outsourcing the cheaper, ‘lower-value’ aspects in the tech value chain – data annotation, content moderation – to Africans”.
Says Daniel Motaung, the former Facebook content moderator, whistleblower and union mobilizer: “People are the key component to driving solutions about labor rights. If all digital workers unite, we have the power to twist the hand of big Tech companies to change. We cannot rely on cat and mouse court cases and Big Tech CEOs in closed-door “tea-party meetings” to effect change – real change, happens in regulation and for this, we need a strong, united voice globally advocating for a common cause.”
MozFest House Kenya features over 30 deep, interactive sessions on various topics such as the path towards inclusive digital identity, the digital ID movement, and the risks of digitizing discrimination through AI.
Mozilla’s broader Africa Innovation Mradi supports movements across East and Southern Africa to explore the intersection of technology and society, uplift locally developed innovations, and products, ensure technology is inclusive of African voices,, and fund research that will enhance tech accountability across the region.