The Implication of COVID 19 on Women's Internet Use in Uganda

The spread of COVID 19 has impacted the global economy and transformed the way we communicate, connect, and share information. As of 13th May 2020, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicines, there were 4,247,709 COVID 19 confirmed cases and 291,334 deaths reported in 187 countries/regions. In Uganda, there were 126 confirmed cases of COVID 19 with no deaths since the first case was confirmed on 21st March 2020 of a male Ugandan who returned from Dubai and tested positive.

It is clearly seen that the pandemic has exposed how men and women access and use the internet because the patterns of access and use of the internet according to Web Foundation is determined by demographic factors such as; the level of education, age bracket, level of income, geographical area and other social aspects of life.

In this period of the pandemic, no matter how poor or rich individuals, societies and the states are, choices have to be made and internet use should be given key priority because it is evidenced that internet has provided a crucial link to information on COVID 19, facilitated work from home in response to the roadblocks erected by countrywide lockdowns and curfews through video conferencing devices such as Zoom, BlueJeans, and Google Hangouts(Google Meet) among others and enables families to keep safe and stay in touch with one another where the movement has not been possible.

 Furthermore, the COVID-19 policy measures that were announced by the President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni starting from 18th March 2020  during his addresses to the Nation such as suspension of all religious gatherings, closure of schools, bars and restaurants, regular washing of hands with soap and alcohol-based sanitizer and social distancing measure including suspension of public transport to prevent the spread of the virus have affected how women use the internet.  These policy measures have led to the reduction in women’s sources of income for buying the devices and the data bundles especially women who are self-employed in the informal sector where over 13.67 million Ugandans between the age of 14-64 years are engaged and being the most hit by COID 19.

According to Research ICT Africa 2019 state of ICT in Uganda report, affordability of the internet devices such as smartphones and computers for internet connections remains one of the biggest challenges to internet use in Uganda where even those with relatively lower costs have been beyond the financial means of the large number of citizens. Furthermore, the price of the data bundles even though relatively low is simply beyond the means of the majority of people for meaningful use.

In 2018, regressive social media tax (over the top tax) of 200 Ugandan shillings (0.05 USD) and mobile money tax of 0.5 percent charged on every withdrawal transactions introduced by the government put a serious brake on internet use yet out of the 14 million population that use the internet in Uganda,99 percent are social media users(Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Skype).

Women of Uganda Network research findings on examining Women Access to digital platforms conducted in 2019 revealed that majority of Women in Uganda depend on their spouse to get data bundles, however, this comes with added costs with the spouse demanding to know who else she communicated to with the data they obtained. Worse still they said, that this is a source of conflict in the homes and some ending up as victims of domestic violence. Similarly, there has been limited relevant content on COVID 19 especially for the marginalized groups of people who cannot read and understand English since most of the content disseminated are hardly in the local dialect yet African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedom principle 6 advocates for cultural and linguistic diversity as one of the main pillars of fundamental internet rights and freedoms where individuals and communities should have the right to use their own language or any language of their choice to create, share and disseminate information and knowledge through the Internet. The implication of all these is that  COVID 19 has not only halted provision of other health services to the population but has made the focus to shift to the prevention of virus alone hence hindering many women in Uganda from meaningful use of the internet to access information on the virus and some of the policy measures adopted by the government since internet use is determined by the level of education, age, level of income and geography yet women are still trailing men to embrace technologies hence limiting their capacity to use the internet.

Therefore, in order for more women to meaningfully use the internet during this COVID 19 crisis, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that everyone is connected to the internet by reducing the cost of the devices and mobile data bundles to a maximum cost of 2 percent of the average monthly income of every population. More still, Civil society organizations in partnership with the government and internet service providers should build the capacity of local citizens especially women to develop local content that is consistent with the human rights standards and laws to accelerate its demand and adoption.

Compiled by Isaac Amuku - Program officer Information sharing and networking

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Flattening the COVID-19 Pandemic Curve calls for a fight against Misinformation and Disinformation

The quest to flatten the contagion curve through social distancing and lockdowns is a measure that every country has done or planning to do as the world is faced with the fight against the Novel Coronavirus. On 11th March 2020 World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic in a media briefing by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the Director-General.  The global statistics stand at 2,585,468 confirmed cases and 178,845

Deaths by 22nd April 20120, the current epic center of the virus is in the United States.

Uganda confirmed its first case of COVID19 on 21st March 2020 and a month after that, the total number of cases rose to 61 with 45 cases of recoveries and no cause of death yet.

All efforts are being done with the focus to flattening the curve by governments globally, however, we are faced with a huge challenge of misinformation and disinformation both in the online and offline spaces, this can start from online then the same information gets to the offline space and vice versa. The misinformation has caused panic, fear, people are making irrational decisions on the steps to keep safe and maintain their economic stability. Lately, Uganda has seen a lot of COVID-19 related fake news on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp.  Prior to Uganda confirming her first case,  there were already speculations moving around that “the country had COVID-19 cases and death due to the pandemic although the government did not want to declare” this caused a lot of fear and distrust in the information that were being given by the Ministry of Health.

UNESCO defines disinformation as information that is false and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organization, or country while misinformation is the Information that is false but not created with the intention of causing harm. There has been an increase in the number of fake Twitter, Facebook, Google accounts opened in the name of the PresidentMinister of HealthMinistry of HealthPrime Minister, and other influential individuals in the COVID-19 National Task Force. These accounts have been used to share information that is contrary to the official communications given by these individuals or institutions.

The pandemic being unprecedented has caused conversations over its possible treatment. Different information has been circulated on social media platforms claiming that drugs used for treating malaria could heal COVID-19 patients, people have been cautioned in those messages to stock drugs like quinine. Antiretroviral (ARV) is also one of the drugs rumored to be the treatment for the virus, this led to relaxation on some of the HIV seropositive on following the safety precautions being given by WHO and Ministry of Health.

On 16th March 2020, a video went viral of the speaker of parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga saying Uganda was going to make the COVID-19 vaccine, this caused a lot of debate among medical practitioners and key stakeholders who questioned the speaker on her statement.

The police on 14th April 2020 arrested one Robert Mijumbi a student of Kyambogo University, following a video clip that he posted on YouTube which later went viral on different social media platforms. The accused claimed he had found a cure for COVID-19. The National Drug Authority and the Medical team have come up to refute such misinformation and disinformation that is affecting the fight against the pandemic.

In some scenarios misinformation and disinformation have come from very influential people like religious, political, and cultural leaders. A Pentecostal Pastor, Augustine Yiga of Revival Church in Kawaala in Rubaga Division of Kampala was remanded on charges of uttering false information and spreading harmful propaganda likely to cause the spread of the deadly COVID-19  disease. On 27th March 2020, Pastor Yiga while preaching at his church and before various television stations, uttered words that were broadcast that there is no coronavirus in Uganda and Africa. This is an offense contrary to section 171 of the Penal Code Act.

In rural areas, however, misinformation and disinformation manifest differently compared to the urban areas. These communities depend on information from radio stations although not all families own radios, the majority rely on the hearsay from the privileged community members who can access the internet, who are connected to relatives in the urban areas or receive messages sent on their phones through the telecom companies. Although the government has made initiatives to create awareness on COVID-19 in the rural areas many communities have not been reached yet.

Women are more vulnerable to misinformation and disinformation because not many of them can access and use Information Communications Technology (ICT). A study by the Uganda Communications Commission on Access and Usage of ICTs revealed that only 44% of women-owned and could use a phone at any time compared to 62% of the men. It further reveals that only 15% of women had used a computer or the internet in the last three months prior to the study compared to 21% of the men that were interviewed. The few women who access and use the internet still lack exposure to the tools to verify the information they receive then the unconnected women depend on news from their spouses, relatives, friends who own phones, radios, etcetera.

Knowledge gap on COVID-19 still exists in the rural areas, according to some communities, COVID-19 is thought to be a disease for the “white people, “ people who travel by airplane”, “ Kampala people”, this kind of misinformation has made most of the rural communities relaxed about following the safety precautions given by WHO and Ministry of Health.

Therefore, fighting fake news cannot be left to the governments but rather every stakeholder should take part. Politicians, religious leaders, media houses, journalists, civil society organizations, companies, celebrities, should be at the helm of sharing the right information because they have big followings and are influential in the societies. Extra efforts should be made to reach out to rural communities.

Multilateral companies, organizations, institutions have been working to counter react fake news, and others have launched sites where information can be got and how fact-checking can be done to COVID-19 related information being received.

Ministry of Health has a platform on their website where the right information can be accessed by the public.

Facebook has created the Coronavirus Information Center which gives real-time updates from national health authorities and global organizations like WHO. I think Facebook has pretty much tried to control fake news on the Facebook platform, however, the WhatsApp platform has a  huge number of false information being shared every second and this calls for action.

WhatsApp has launched a WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub which is providing simple, actionable guidance for health workers, educators, community leaders, nonprofits, local governments, and local businesses that rely on WhatsApp to communicate.

International Fact-Checking Network launched CoronaVirus Facts Alliance 

Google announced that it is blocking more than 18million hoax emails a day as criminals try to snare victims with COVID-19 scam messages.

By: Peace Oliver Amuge

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Online Violence Against Women & Girls is Still an Ignored Human Rights Violation in Uganda.

When one mentions online violence against women and girls, not so many eyebrows would be raised despite being on a rise and a threat to many women in the digital space. Sometimes referred to as Technology-assisted violence or cyber violence, its definition is still ambiguous and it’s still an evolving phenomenon globally. It’s usually an extension of offline violence, although it sometimes starts as an online violence then it quickly spills over into the offline world.  A report by The Web Foundation reveals that 52% of young women in the global survey have experienced online abuse and 87% think the problem is getting worse.

For Uganda’s case, women and girls have been facing online violence which manifests as cyber harassment, cyber stalking, impersonation, Nonconsensual intimate images commonly referred to as “revenge pornography”, child pornography, hate speech, doxing, etcetera. These violations have affected freedom of expression, right to information, privacy and data protection which manifests into many women getting offline because the environment isn’t favorable for them, they also face extra effects of less participation in politics and online spaces, increased self-censorship, widening gender digital divide and the violation sometimes gets physical in the offline space.

We have seen an increase in the number of cases of Nonconsensual Intimate Images (NCII), the victims have mostly been celebrities like Judith Heard, Zari Hassan, Anita Fabiola, Desire Luzinda, Cindy Sanyu among others. However, justice has not been served to these women, they were being hand down and arrested by the police, employers sacked some of them from their jobs and the societies condemned them. These victims go through psychological torture however the authorities do not pay attention to that fact except being looked at as criminals. These pictures or videos have in many occasions been linked by former lovers, hackers or unknown people who steal the victim’s phone, camera, devices used for storing these pictures/videos. Laws such as The Anti-Pornography Act 2014, section 13(1) criminalizes the production, trafficking in, publication, broadcasting, procuring, importing, exporting, selling or abetting any form of pornography. However, no action is taken on the person who distributed, published, broadcasted the pictures/videos to the public, he/she walks away scratch free.

Quite recently we had a case of Martha Kagimba, aka Martha whose nude pictures where shared on social media however for this case justice was served. According to the Daily Monitor Newspaper, two men Herbert Arinaitwe 27 and Farid Mukiibi, 34, were charged at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court by Chief Magistrate with aggravated robbery and cyber-crime in connection to leaking nude photos of the victim.

 I have had chances to speak to different audiences about online violence against women and girls, many confess that they have at least experienced a kind of violence however on many occasions some victims are not aware that it is criminal, and it infringes on their fundamental rights and freedoms. Speaking to students of International University of East Africa in January 2019 during a digital security training organized by WOUGNET after  a research studies on Tech Related Violence Against Women. I asked the students to share how they dealt with online violence, I got responses like “I block them” , “I closed that social media account” I stay offline for a while until I think the perpetrator will not follow me anymore” these were some of the responses that I vividly remember. These voices reflect the extreme effect of the online violence which pushes them offline, self-censorship which infringes on their freedom of expression, and right to access information online.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, an annual international campaign that runs from November 25th to December 10th has been used massively to fight gender base violence against women by the government, Police Force, civil society organizations however all the focus and efforts are made towards offline violence not online violence. Apparently, a few digital human rights organizations and activists such as Women of Uganda Network, Not Your Body, Unwanted Witness, CIPESA, Akina Mama wa Afrika, to mention but a few have used such campaigns to condemn online violence against women.

Article 33 (1) (2) of the Constitution of Uganda guarantees protection for the rights of women; (1) States that women shall be given full and equal dignity of the person, and equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities with men. (2) The State shall provide for the facilities and opportunities necessary to improve or realize women’s full potential and advancement.  However, this is not seen in the implementation.

What could be done?

In order to change this narrative, actions should be taken by all stakeholders, the government, civil society organisations, regulators, policy makers, the police force, Human Rights Defenders, academia, women and girls, among others;

  • Conduct digital security trainings and digital literacy to empower and encourage women to meaningfully participate in the online spaces and to equally increase capacity in order for women to leverage on opportunity offered by the space.
  • Open up opportunities for women to take up key positions of authority or decision making. 
  • Build capacity of the authorities such as The Police Force, policy makers on online violence against women and girls. 
  • Advocating for policies that are gender responsive, specific and ensure proper implementation of these laws.
  • Create movements and collaborations across borders to fight online violence against women, these crimes do not respect borders.
  • There are existing mechanisms which might not be known to the public, for instance Facebook gives users options to block and report however not many people know about this hence the need to create awareness on these mechanisms.

Photo credit:  https://www.iknowpolitics.org/sites/default/files/styles/event_image__710_x_440_/public/field/image/e9126215805e6f1ab384f6da06f451ad-1.jpg?itok=whhd7lsS 

Compiled by:

Peace Oliver Amuge

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Recognize, Appreciate and Celebrate Every Woman #EachforEqual

On women’s day, we celebrate Women who have broken the glass ceiling, women who have made remarkable achievements in various sectors, Women who have made it in male-dominated spheres and Women who have proved to be role models. This recognition is justified. But what about the other women who take the shadow position? The Women who help with the domestic work in these women’s homes, the Women who cook food in their offices, the Women who babysit when they are away, the Women who tailor the dresses that they wear, the Women who vend foodstuffs to them on the streets and the Women who clean up after them? It is crucial that the women in the informal sector are recognized, appreciated and celebrated.

The informal economy implies a diversified set of economic activities, enterprises, jobs and workers that are not regulated, monitored, taxed or protected by the state. According to the Uganda National Household Survey 2016/17, 90%  of Uganda’s economy is informal. Within that 90% of all informal businesses in Kampala, 66% are women which makes up the majority of the informal workers.

To date, there are a number of laws and policies in Uganda that make a concerted effort to enhance women’s positions in the economy and many of these have yielded notable results.  The 2nd National Development (NDP II, 2015-2020) makes specific reference to sector-specific gender in a bid to realize inclusive growth by prioritizing gender equality and women’s empowerment.  Even so, in many countries, including Uganda, women entrepreneurs who have engaged in informal business activities have signi?cantly contributed to poverty reduction, mobilized entrepreneurial initiatives, autonomy, and accelerated the achievement of wider socioeconomic objectives (Belwal & Singh, 2008).

This women’s day Uganda Celebrates 25 years of the 1995 Constitution: milestones in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Let us recognize and appreciate the efforts of women in the informal sector which contributes significantly to the development and vibrance of not only the ‘powerful women’ but the entire nation.

During this year’s National celebration in Mbale district, eastern Uganda, the President of Uganda Y.K Museveni echoed the economic empowerment of women. He said, “through commercial agriculture, industries, services, ICT women can create jobs or find employment in public service if they have the required qualification.” He pledged that the Government would increase allocations to Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), Youth Fund and Operation Wealth creation to allow more women access to business financing.

Regardless of what the Government of Uganda has done and pledges to do, there are still gaps that need to be closed. According to the National Labor force survey 2016/17, Women are overrepresented in informal and vulnerable employment. These women face a number of challenges from exploitation by their employees or customers, lack of social security and rights at work, demand for bribes, physical abuse, lack of access to finance and sexual harassment.

It is important that these issues are seen as an area of national concern and remedies are sought not only in policy formulation and implementation but also in resource allocation towards building women’s capacity in economic empowerment initiatives and meaningful financial inclusion. It is also important to sensitize communities to be more acceptive of women in the informal sector and enable them to improve and break barriers. The government should also extend its credit facilities and reduce the borrowing conditions for the most vulnerable persons to enable them to access credit and thus eradicate poverty.

Compiled by Patricia Nyasuna

Program Officer Gender & ICT Policy Advocacy

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The restriction of social network through the social media tax: a violation of human rights

Is access to the internet a right or a privilege? Autocratic governments see the freedom of speech on the internet as a threat to the regime[i]. Some countries like China and more recently Uganda, have used many controls censure online discussions although, internet access is a fundamental right recognized by the United Nations (UN) since 2012[ii]. Despite this, network communication tools have been significantly restrained by Ugandan’s Communications regulating body. Furthermore, in 2018 the government imposed a new tax of 200 Ugandan shillings (roughly $0,05USD) on social media[iii]. British newspaper The Guardian affirmed that ‘’ millions of [Ugandans]’’ have been forced to quit social media due to this tax[iv]. Presented as a new revenue increase for the benefit of the population, this new fee seems to be another way to control dissident voices online[v]. In addition, as stated by President Museveni the purpose of this tax is to “reduce gossip”[vi]. Nonetheless, according to international law, this tax is tantamount to any other human rights violation.

The legal impact of the social media tax on human rights according to international law can be argued against on the premise of three specific international norms which are; the right to participate in political and social life without any discrimination; the right to access uncensored information; and freedom of assembly.

The right to participate in political and social life without any discrimination is a human right. Uganda has ratified several international treaties that prohibit online censure and promote universal access to the internet[vii]. Among others, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Article 19 specifies that

‘’Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”[viii]

Henceforth it is impossible to deny that digital technologies are taking a huge part of the public sphere especially for the spread of democracy. Plebiscite organized by social network gives a voice to the voiceless and dissident ideology. A fortiori, the digital public sphere is an informal tool giving a tribute to average people. During the Arab spring, by example, online conversations played a major role in shaping political debate[ix]. Despite the doubt behind the factual role of social media on the street protest in North Africa and the Middle East, we cannot deny the digital impact on information spreading and the amplifying of contagion[x].

The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms (ADIRF) article 3 recalls the article19 of the UDHR[xi]. In addition, article 2 of the ADIRF states that

‘’Access to the Internet should be available and affordable to all persons in Africa without discrimination on any ground such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’’.[xii]

The ADIRF clearly advocates that internet should be affordable. Thus, a $0,05USD tax might seem low, however 27% of the Ugandan population live on less than $1,25USD per day[xiii]. A large number of this population are excluded from online discussion. Ironically, these less fortunate citizens are marginalized and underrepresented in the political sphere, yet they need to express their dissatisfaction. Among this marginalized population, are Ugandan women, most of whom are involved in ungainful employment[xiv]. According to UNESCO, women and girls are the first victims of economic crisis, lack of information for their well-being and corruption[xv]. Thus, the new network fee is indirect discrimination based on their economic status and is increasing those injustices. Even if this rule applies to everybody the same way, the consequences are worse for certain persons due to their economic status.

Access to uncensored information is a right clearly stipulated in article 9 the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights. It states that everyone shall receive information and express their opinion freely[xvi]. Uganda has integrated components of international law like freedom of information (FOI)[xvii] into national laws as enshrined in the Access to Information (ATI) Act and Electronic Media Act (1996). Indeed, Uganda is the first East African country “to enact an FOI law”[xviii] Most significantly, article. 41 (1) of Ugandan’s Constitution stipulates that

‘’Every citizen has a right of access to information in the possession of the State or any other organ or agency of the State except where the release of the information is likely to prejudice the security or sovereignty of the State or interfere with the right to the privacy of any other person’’[xix].

The Access to Information Act (2005) is an offshoot of article 41 of the constitution[xx]. This act has been endorsed to promote transparency of the state and access to the accountability of the government. Although according to Reporters without Borders, the Ugandan press is censured to the point, many people are getting informed through social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook[xxi]. These social media platforms allow average citizens to share their thoughts and their concerns with the online community. In other words, social media is a way to avoid the control of information.

In point of fact, as maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),

Noting that greater participation by citizens in democratic processes, the rule of law, the fight against corruption, respect for the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, transparency, accountability, access to information, poverty reduction and human rights are key elements of good governance.[xxii]

Sharing and receiving information freely is fundamental to democratic systems. In fact, real decisions should not be taken without relevant and accurate information. Thus, even dissident voices should have the right to express themselves in public spaces. Evelyn Beatrice Hall as an illustration of Voltaire’s thinking once said, ‘’I disapprove of what you said but I will defend it to death your right to say it’’. Which means, in a democratic regime, the freedom of speech is more important than the homogeneity of the population. 

The freedom of assembly and spontaneous gathering is an inalienable right in a democratic society. Article 5 of the ADIRF stipulates

‘’Everyone has the right to use the Internet and digital technologies in relation to freedom of assembly and association, including through social networks and platforms. No restrictions on usage of and access to the Internet and digital technologies in relation to the right to freedom of assembly and association may be imposed unless the restriction is prescribed by law, pursues a legitimate aim as expressly listed under international human rights law (as specified in Principle 3 of this Declaration) and is necessary and proportionate in pursuance of a legitimate aim.”[xxiii]

Thus, it goes without saying that the Ugandan government violates the citizen’s fundamental right to assembly with this tax. By doing so, the government denies pluralistic dialogue. According to the UN Office of the high commissioner (OHCHR), special rapporteur Clément Voule, social media, and other communication technologies are an important tool ‘’of enablement for individuals and groups to organize peaceful assemblies and associate with one another’’[xxiv].

Social media has empowered people by creating opportunities for assembly. Through online communities, individuals find the courage to expose human violation because they feel supported by others[xxv]. Like it is said, ‘unity is strength’’. Following this logic, a social media tax is a good way to shut down a potential protest assembly. Once again, the Egyptian situation during the Arab spring showed how important social media has become in increasing community movements. During that crisis, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama recognized the freedom to the assembly through social media as a universal right[xxvi]. Because of this tax, the Ugandan population can’t fully enjoy the right to assembly peacefully.

In conclusion, all around the world news is not only delivered by states anymore. Indeed, social media is playing a huge role in spreading information. The new social media tax in Uganda appears to be part of the widespread repression perpetrated by the government. This new measure is against international law and defies among others three fundamental rights recognized by this law including; the right to participate in public life, the right to access information freely and freedom of assembly and gathering peacefully. As largely demonstrated above, access to the internet is a fundamental human right and every Ugandan should have the right to express themselves freely online.  Social media gives the impression of a lucid digital platform, it allows people to gather and give a feeling of self-empowerment. In addition, the tax is a violation of multiple international norms ratified by Uganda and is against the Ugandan constitution. And finally based on this argument, one big question still remains, how will the Ugandan Court of law rule on this new unconstitutional measure?

Image credit: https://www.ictworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/social-media-taxes.jpg 

Author: Katerie Lakpa

Alternatives Canada, Fellow at WOUGNET.

ENDNOTES

 

[i] Levi Boxel, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, (Taxing dissident: The impact of a social media tax in Uganda), Cornell University, September 2019, p.2.

[ii]United Nations News, Internet governance must ensure access for everyone, May 2012, Online, https://news.un.org/en/story/2012/05/411292-internet-governance-must-ensure-access-everyone-un-expert, consulted October 11th 2019.

[iii]Levi Boxel, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, prec. note 1, p.5.

[iv]Ratcliff, Rebeca, and Okiror, Samuel, Millions of Ugandans quit internet services as a social media tax take effect, The Guardian, February 2019.

[v]Oryem, Nyeko, Uganda’s troubling social media tax. The new law restricts right to the free speech and information on social media, Human rights Watch, July 2018, online, https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/02/ugandas-troubling-social-media-tax, consulted October 9th.

[vi]Abdi Latif, Dahir, prec. note 7.

[vii]Oryem, Nyeko, Uganda’s troubling social media tax. prec. note 6.

[viii]Universal Declaration of Human Rights, RES/AG/217A (III), Doc off AG NU (1948), art.19.

[ix]Aiden Duffy, DeenFreelon and al. Opening closed regimes, What was the role of social media during the arab spring?, Project of information technology & political Islam, Online, https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=952112098007006071106065025024099024031086037020053013069083081065096027112124102087055031099031027019034093124081113089015007033047002081054085080103122123107002121088020035012090127082104011013085093030067119003109102085115096127085068080011086119104&EXT=pdf, consulted October 6th 2019, p.2.

[x]Howard, Philip N., Social media and political change: capacity, constraint, and consequence, Journal of communication, Vol. 62, Issue 2, April 2012, p. 365.

[xi]African Declaration on internet rights and freedom, art.3

[xii]African Declaration on internet rights and freedom,art.2

[xiii]Oryem, Nyeko, Uganda’s troubling social media tax. Prec. note 6.

[xiv]Elvis Basude, Women the poorest in Uganda, New Vision, Uganda, March 2013.

[xv]United Nations Educational, Specific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Communication and information, Freedom of information in Africa, Online, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-of-expression/freedom-of-information/foi-in-africa/, consulted October 11th 2019.

[xvi]African Charter on Human right and Peoples’ right, §1 Chap.1 art.9. (1986).

[xvii]United Nations Educational, Specific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), prec. note 18.

[xviii]James, Lowry, Freedom of information and government records in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Archive and manuscript, Vol. 41, 2013, p. 27.

[xix]Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Chapter 1, art.41(1), 1995

[xx]Access to Information Act, Republic of Uganda, 2005.

[xxi]Reporter without border, Online, https://rsf.org/en/uganda, consulted October 16th 2019.

[xxii]United Nations Educational, Specific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Dakar Declaration, Media and good governance, World Press Freedom Day 2016, Online, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-press-freedom-day/previous-celebrations/worldpressfreedomday200900000/dakar-declaration/

, consulted October 11th, 2019.

[xxiii]African Declaration on internet rights and freedom, art.5

[xxiv]United Nations Human rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), Call for input the mandate of the special rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association – The right to peaceful assembly and of association in the digital age, online, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/AssemblyAssociation/Pages/DigitalAge.aspx, consulted on October 14th 2019.

[xxv]Amir, Hatem Ali, The power of social media in developing Nations: New tools for closing the global digital divide and beyond, Harvard Human rights journal, HeinOnline, 2001, P.189.

[xxvi]Amir, Hatem Ali, prec. note 27, P.186.

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