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Group Rallies Support For Digital Rights Law in Tanzania

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise that works to connect underserved young Africans with digital opportunities and ensures protection of their rights, is currently galvanizing support for digital rights and freedoms in Tanzania.

Paradigm Initiative connects under-served African youth with improved livelihoods through its digital inclusion and digital rights programmes. Its other programmes include, the Life Skills, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Financial Readiness, Entrepreneurship (LIFE) training programme, as well as Dufuna.

The Pan-African orgnanization, together with local stakeholders is leading efforts to champion a Digital Rights and Freedoms Bill to further complement the existing cyber laws in the East African country.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the organization’s media team. The statement added that similar discussions on a similar Bill, are currently ongoing in Cameroon, Malawi, Zambia and other countries in Africa.

The group facilitated the 2021 Tanzania Stakeholders Convening on Digital Rights Legislation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzanian capital from the 29th to 30th June. The forum brought together 25 stakeholders drawn from civil society, academia, legal fraternity and the media.

In the United Republic of Tanzania, according to the statement, these efforts began in 2020 and it is hoped that with the new political administration and with the support of different stakeholders and all Tanzanians, the proposed law will see the light of day in the very near future.

“We also note that there are already discussions in Tanzania around a privacy law and we urge the Executive and Parliament specifically to expedite the process of such laws to guarantee data protection and unhindered enjoyment of digital rights among all Tanzanians.

As a Pan-African digital rights organization, we have been at the forefront of promoting collaborations between governments and civil society in Africa. Such collaboration resulted in the introduction of the Digital Rights and Freedoms Bill in Nigeria.

“It is of our firm belief that so much is possible when citizens, civil society, and government work together in shaping the future, through policy interventions that support innovation and protect the people-such as the Tanzania Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, 2021”, the statement added.

It further stated that Paradigm Initiative together with local partners will proceed to engage parliamentarians and government officials to discuss ways through which it can collaborate to enact the Bill into law.

“Our team of digital rights stakeholders drawn from lawyers, academia, civil society, media, active citizens and government officials will work together to further fine-tune the Bill and provide the much needed guidance during the public participation processes.

“Paradigm Initiative calls on all Tanzanians to support this Bill and contribute their positions during the public participation processes to be initiated by the Parliament of Tanzania and the relevant government department”, the statement stressed.


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