Ethiopia, September 26, 2019: Civil society leaders and interested citizens today launched an initiative to advance digital rights in Ethiopia under the auspices of the Network for Digital Rights in Ethiopia (NDRE).
Composed of prominent human rights lawyers, civil society leaders, and interested citizens, NDRE works to identify digital right gaps in Ethiopia and seeks proactive solutions that advance freedom of expression, association, and economic rights of citizens utilizing the digital space.
“We are a network of people who advocate for uninterrupted internet access to Ethiopians, help protect their privacy rights, create awareness and build capacity in partnership with civic groups, government, private sector and citizens at large to advocate and protect a principal medium of communication that people depend on,” said Amha Mekonnen, Chair of the digital rights group NDRE.
An increasing number of Ethiopians are using computers and networks to conduct work and activities in their private lives. However, there is no organization that works for the protection of their digital rights. As a result, there are many limitations and dangers in using Information and Communication Technologies in Ethiopia. This is why a group of interested individuals and organizations established the Network for Digital Rights in Ethiopia (NDRE) to work for better understanding and protection of digital rights in Ethiopia.
Atnafu Berhane, a digital rights advocate and a member of the iconic Zone 9 bloggers movement said, “forming a network of civic groups and individuals committed to the advancement of digital rights has a long-lasting impact in the respect of freedom of expression, association, and economic rights of Ethiopian citizens”.
NDRE works to influence policy, laws, and regulations that affect platform ownership and the right to internet access that is deemed critical for the socio-economic advancement of Ethiopians.
The administrative and legal home of the network, The Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD), hosted the launching NDRE on the sidelines of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) that took place in Addis Ababa from September 23-26 2019.