Bloggers from Kenya and Zambia join others in commemorating Africa Freedom Day




Bloggers of Zambia and Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) join fellow Africans across the continent in commemorating Africa Freedom Day, a momentous occasion that celebrates the hard-fought struggles for independence, democracy, and human rights in Africa. Africa Freedom Day is marked annually on May 25.

“As we mark this important day, we are reminded of the fundamental principles of freedom, equality, and justice that underpin our collective aspirations for a better, more prosperous Africa,” stated a media release issued by the two organisations.

At the core of Africa Freedom Day is the recognition of the inherent dignity and rights of all Africans, including the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy. In today’s digital age, these rights are more relevant and essential than ever before, as they shape our ability to participate fully in the digital sphere, exercise our democratic freedoms, and hold those in power accountable.

However, despite the progress made in advancing digital rights across Africa, significant challenges persist, threatening to undermine the principles of freedom and democracy that we hold dear. From internet shutdowns and censorship to arbitrary arrests and harassment of online activists, we continue to witness violations of digital rights that stifle dissent, silence critical voices, and erode the foundations of democracy and good governance.

As bloggers and digital rights advocates, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Africans across the continent in demanding the protection and promotion of digital rights. We call upon African governments to uphold their commitments to international human rights standards, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, by ensuring:

  1. Freedom of Expression: We urge governments to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression both online and offline, allowing individuals to express their opinions, share information, and engage in public discourse without fear of censorship or reprisal.
  2. Access to Information: We call for the removal of barriers to access to information, including restrictions on internet access, content blocking, and the criminalization of online speech. Access to information is a cornerstone of democracy and development, empowering citizens to make informed decisions and participate meaningfully in civic life.
  3. Privacy and Data Protection: We advocate for robust data protection laws and mechanisms to safeguard individuals’ privacy rights and prevent unauthorized surveillance and data breaches. Privacy is a fundamental human right that must be respected and protected in the digital age.
  4. Digital Inclusion: We emphasize the importance of bridging the digital divide and ensuring universal access to the internet and digital technologies for all Africans, particularly marginalized and underserved communities. Digital inclusion is essential for promoting economic opportunities, social equity, and sustainable development across the continent.
  5. Accountability and Transparency: We call for greater transparency and accountability in the governance of digital technologies, including the regulation of social media platforms, online content moderation, and surveillance practices. Governments must ensure that regulatory frameworks are transparent, inclusive, and subject to democratic oversight.

“On this Africa Freedom Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to defending and promoting digital rights as essential components of freedom, democracy, and human dignity in Africa. Together, let us strive to build a continent where the digital space is a vibrant, inclusive, and safe environment for all Africans to exercise their rights and freedoms without fear or discrimination,” read a joint press release issued by Richard Mulonga, the CEO, Bloggers of Zambia and Kennedy Kachwanya, the chairperson, Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE).

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