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Ghana to host 11th edition of DRIF in April 2024


Stanley Ihedigbo

Over 100 delegates from 56 countries across the world are set to converge in Accra, Ghana later this month to attend the 11th Edition of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF).

The Forum which will take place between April 23rd and April 25th, 2024 is an important platform where conversations on digital policy in Africa are shaped, policy directions debated, and partnerships forged for action.

The signature event will be hosted by the pan-African organisation, Paradigm Initiative (PIN) under the theme, Fostering Rights and Inclusion in the Digital Age. Partner organisations working with PIN to host DRIF24 in Ghana are the E-Governance and Internet Governance Foundation for Africa (EGIGFA), University of Media, Arts, and Communication- Institute of Journalism, Media Foundation for West Africa, Inclusive Tech Group, Internet Society (ISOC) Ghana Chapter and Human Security Research Centre (HSRC).

Event sponsors include Wikimedia, African Digital Rights Network, Ford Foundation, Luminate, Google, Kingdom of The Netherlands, Mott Foundation, Open Technology Fund (OTF), Internews, Small Media, among others.

Sub-themes at the Forum will focus on Trust and Accountability, Data Protection, Privacy and Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies, Digital Inclusion and Marginalised Groups. This year’s event will attract diverse stakeholders from the global south to share experiences and map strategies that transcend geographical boundaries.

DRIF has carved a niche as the arena for tough topical global issues on digital rights and inclusion, accommodating views and opinions from civil society, technology companies, government, academia, and other stakeholders.

PIN and partners have successively held 10DRIF editions since 2013 with this year’s being the 11th edition. The organisation received 245 session proposals for DRIF 2024 and is looking forward to hosting about 80 sessions, an increase from last year’s 70 sessions. This year’s event will incorporate a blend of panel sessions, launches, tech demos, pre-event workshops, lightning talks, and exhibitions under diverse tracks including digital rights, digital inclusion, and digital security.

Last year’s DRIF which was held in Nairobi, Kenya was attended by 601 participants drawn from 54 countries across the world. The forum hosted 70 sessions focusing on among other themes, Internet shutdowns, utilisation of the Universal Service Fund (USF), data protection, content moderation, and censorship. There were also key launches of research, platforms, and networks.

PIN’s Senior Manager, Partnerships and Engagements, Thobekile Matimbe, said the event was not only a meeting of minds but a testament to a collective commitment to shaping a digital landscape that prioritises rights, inclusion, and empowerment for all.

The upcoming edition will build on the discussions from the 10th edition, which focused on a sustainable Internet future that leaves no one behind.

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