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Paradigm Initiative Commends National Assembly for Passing Digital Rights Bill

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Paradigm Initiative, a pan-African digital rights organization, has commended the two legislative houses for passing the important Digital Rights and Freedom Bill into law; this was contained in a statement following the passage of the Bill at the Senate.

 

The Nigerian Senate at around 1:09 pm yesterday passed the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, following in the footsteps of the Nigerian House of Representatives which passed the Bill on December 19, 2018.

 

The Bill, a product of civil society efforts led by Paradigm Initiative beginning at the 2014 Internet Freedom Forum in Abuja, “provides for the protection of human rights online, to protect Internet users in Nigeria from infringement of their fundamental freedoms and to guarantee application of human rights for users of digital platforms and/or digital media.”

 

Hon Chukwuemeka Ujam, in 2016, sponsored the Bill at the House of Representatives where the bill underwent rigorous legislative process before its eventual passage last December.

The Bill was first tabled before the Senate for concurrence on January 16 2018, and was finally passed today.

 

Speaking on the importance of the bill, Boye Adegoke , Digital Rights Program Manager, Paradigm Initiative, said, “By the passage of this BIll, the legislative arm of government has shown a commitment to the development of digital rights in Nigeria.”

 

He added, “I am most excited about the provisions in this Bill regarding freedom of expression online.

 

“The bill will ensure that citizens can freely express their opinions online without interference. This is such a positive development at a time when Nigeria is moving into an election season and there are legitimate fears that there may be moves by some political interests to gag free speech in the country.

“The positive leadership of the National Assembly on the issue is quite commendable.” Adegoke concluded.

 

Also speaking on the passage, Tope Ogundipe, Director of Programs, Paradigm Initiative, said “Nigeria has demonstrated remarkable leadership on the continent by passing this Bill.

 

The Bill is quite important  to the future of innovation and Nigeria’s digital economy in essence. It represents the needed framework to attract the partnership of global brands in the digital economy.”

 

The bill provides progressive legislative backing to online speech in the country. Clause 14 of the bill reads, “Every person shall have the right to freely express opinion online without interference, this right includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of digital frontiers”.

 

Under this Bill, freedom of expression further includes the freedom to express and impart information and ideas of all kinds that can be transmitted to others, in whatever form, and regardless of media.

 

The Bill also made provisions geared towards the protection of data and right to privacy online. Clause 5 of the Bill reads “(1) Every person is guaranteed the confidentiality of his personal data.

 

(2) The integrity and confidentiality of personal data and information of citizens is inviolable and therefore guaranteed… (6) All entities that collect, store and/or process personal data in the course of their activities shall have data privacy policies that are readily and easily accessible to the public.”

 

The Bill will now be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari for the presidential assent to transform the bill to a law, making it Nigeria’s first law on human rights online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Buhari Extends Ministers Tenure Till Tuesday

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President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice Osibanjo
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President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari has asked his ministers to continue working till Tuesday.

 

He gave the directives during the valedictory Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday.

 

The President said, thereafter, they should submit their handing over notes to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

 

Buhari said: “ Although today is our last council meeting, continue to work until Tuesday.. Your handover letters should be submitted to the office of the SGF.”

 

The president commended the ministers for contributing towards the development of the country.

 

Yemi Osibanjo, Vice President and the 31 ministers took turn to deliver their speeches on their experiences working with the president.

 

The president would be sworn in on Wednesday May 29 for his second term.

 

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UBA’s Africa Conversations: Leaders Emphasise Importance of History to African Development

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l-r Chairman of Ghana’s Convention People’s Party, and daughter of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ms Samia Nkrumah; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; Group Chairman, UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Guinean Historian and playwright, Professor, Djibril Tamsir Niane; Afro musician, Mr. Femi Kuti; and Legal Practitioner and Moderator, Ms. Ayo Obe, during the panel discussion themed ‘Africa’s History Redefined, our past, the path to the future,’ organised by UBA to mark Africa’s Day in Lagos on Wednesday
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African leading minds have called on Africans to be mindful of their rich history, which according to them creates the path towards the socio-cultural, economic and political development of the continent

 

The strong African voices which included Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; Professor emeritus and authority in Sahelian history, Djibril Tamsir Niane; Ghanaian Politician, Samia Nkrumah and Famous Musician, Femi Kuti spoke during the first edition of UBA’s Africa Conversations, a symposium organised by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc at the UBA House in Lagos, as part of activities marking this year’s Africa Day celebrations. The theme of the panel session was “Africa’s History Redefined, Our Past, the Path to the Future”.

 

Opening the conversation, the Group Chairman, UBA, Tony Elumelu stated ‘UBA understands the past- that Africa as a continent has always been united by the struggle for identity. UBA is a symbol for the development of Africa, for the economic empowerment of our people, the Small and Medium Enterprises as well as the big corporations. Thus, identifying with Africa and indeed Africa Day is synonymous with who we are as a bank. It presents us the opportunity to remind ourselves, the world and indeed Africa that we owe ourselves the duty of making Africa the continent of our dreams.”

 

Elumelu added that it is important for Africans to remember history as this will help prepare for the future. ‘Our past provides a veritable tool to fashioning the continent’s development, renaissance and economic growth’ he emphasised.

 

Speaking strongly on the issue, professor Wole Soyinka, who commended UBA’s initiative for opening up discussions on these pressing topics decried the growing erosion of history from the curriculum in African schools, adding that the lack of knowledge of our past makes children’s growth on the continent truncated. “How can we cope with the modern phenomenon if we do not know the past? We should never forget the importance of history as it is not just an academic exercise,” he enthused.

 

Corroborating Soyinka’s position, Professor Niane opined that reminiscing about Africa’s rich history is important as there is no people without history. He said, “A lot of work has been done by Africans and we have to be happy about it. There is the need to continue the conversation about African unity. Policies  have been put in place and our democracy can only get stronger. Peace will reign and Africa will be reunited. Economic transformation is also important but it is not the only thing we should concentrate on.”

 

 

Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who commended UBA for prioritising African entrepreneurship, called for a renewed attempt at African unity, which according to her, has to be a collective effort of the people.

 

Nkrumah said, “As we work in our individual smaller countries, it will be easier to achieve more if we work together and complete unification can only come if we work together; we won’t go anywhere unless we use unity as a political project.’ She added.

 

On his part, Femi Kuti emphasised the importance of History, saying “Our children need to learn this history so that they can come up and build the continent. We need everyone – both boys and girls to work towards this vision.”

 

The UBA Conversations, an initiative of the Pan African financial institution, aims at aggregating discussions necessary for the growth and development of the continent. It is being held as part of the activities to mark the 2019 edition of Africa Day celebrations by the bank.

 

With presence in 20 African countries as well as in the United States, France and The United Kingdom, UBA’s passion for Africa’s growth is part of who they are.

 

The bank is set to continue conversations around these important topics that are required to galvanise the African economy with the aim of attracting the much needed support that will boost SMEs and support business growth on the continent.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Celebrates One Year of NG_Hub

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Celebrating exactly a year to the day since the doors of NG_Hub opened in Lagos, and Facebook further cemented its ambitions to train users across Nigeria in digital skills, Facebook released an infographic highlighting key milestones over the past year.

Created as part of Facebook’s ongoing commitment and investment in growing the start-up ecosystem, and in partnership with CcHub, NG_Hub is a multi-faceted space which connects and bring together developers, start-up’s and the wider community to collaborate, learn and exchange ideas. With a number of expert training and events with partners across Nigeria, undertaking in the hub and externally, the aim is to equip individuals and businesses to grow.

Some highlights over the past year includes: Trained over 50,800 SMBs in digital skills across 20 states in Nigeria

– Delivered 526 events with over 11,490 attendees at NG_Hub, including programmes such as AR/VR meetups, FbStart Accelerator Programme, Facebook Community Leaders Community meetings (CLCs), Developer Circle gatherings etc.

– Directly supported businesses in 11 different industries from agriculture, through to catering, education and fashion

Speaking of its one-year anniversary, Adaora Ikenze, Head of Public Policy, West and Central Africa, said: “I’m proud of the incredible impact that NG_Hub has had in its first year, and continues to have on the lives of young Nigerians.

“We remain committed in deepening our engagement, increasing skills development and supporting the next set of innovators, tech entrepreneurs, start-ups,in our collective bid to change the face of technology and grow the economy.”

Commenting on the partnership Bosun Tijani, Founder/CEO of CcHub, added: “We’re glad about the tremendous impact Facebook’s investment in NG_HUB has had in such a short period and the ecosystem is already seeing the fruits of this commitment. We’re committed to working with Facebook to position NG_HUB as a major platform that drives smart application of technology innovation for economic prosperity across the region and beyond.”

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