May 23 2024, Africa Meetup

From TCU Wiki
Africa Meetups 2023.png

The Africa Regional Meetups are bimonthly video calling gatherings that bring together folks from the African region to share, connect, seek help, and release stress by celebrating each other. In addition, it is a time for us to find ways to support each other, and help us understand what is happening in our part of the world. If you cannot attend the monthly meetups, we are taking notes of each gathering and linking to them below.

The African community is connected during the week in different ways. Either through the African channel on the TCU Mattermost or via different events organized on various topics during the year.

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2024

Time: 11am EDT / 3pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

Who: Facilitated by Mardiya

Where: The link will be shared in the Regional Africa channel on the TCU Mattermost one or two hours before the start of the meeting.

Notes: Please put notes here:


Africa Meetups

Attendees: 7

Community Check in:

1. Localization of open source tools in Swahili, a sustainability for open source tools :

2. New roles in other orgs, exploring the trajectory of the global internet freedom mean for Africa, and looking to eventually expand and is really excited to build and learn.

3. Started an organization to support and safeguard women human rights defenders, they have a partnership with a tech collective who is going to help them develop their technology capabilities, and the tech collective will be leading their grassroots digital literacy. When you speak of open source many of their beneficiaries are still at the early level and hopefully the new developments support people at the grassroots too.  

4. Maintanance of open source projects at the guardian project

5. Leveraging AI to put together a centralised database for digital security toolkits to be used in various African contexts

6. Working on the universalization periodic review for digital rights in Gambia.

What are the opportunities that exists to make public interest technologies accessible

1. Beyond making it accessible to CSOs, but also accessible in a secure way

2. People are looking into apps that allow grassroots human rights defenders to be able to share threats in real time, that doesnt use alot of internet, to allow first responders to be able to provide support where it is needed. They are currently exploring how could support them develop the technology that is needed in that

3. Are they trying to build a technology for their organization that DSA is going to support with, and what is the need?

4. They are working on the assumption that they are working with women who have no idea what the technology advances so they are starting from point Zero in terms of digital skills.

  • They want to find ways of reaching different demographics

5. Idea for the community : A central knowledge base where various digital security toolkits, and response for various context, while exploring approaches in AI and Whatsapp chatbots

6. How do we address issues with security within Whatsapp in itself

  • Some ideas: for at-risk defenders can use wire and signal to access the toolkit
  • For the general population since many people use Whatsapp, it could stil.l

7. For the Africa community, theres an importance for us to work together and bridge the existing siloes to create synergies.

8. less than 20 African nations have rectified the Malabo convention.

9. The community needs to check out the African union digital security strategy

How do we bring and onboard newer people and what is our responsibility

1. Having the meet-ups is a really great way to onboard newer people, giving them the space to speak. Online communities work and also producing resources that train folks is also helpful.

2. While we have the responsibility to support new people to join, the new folks need to also have the passion and genuine interest to be a part of the community. Sometimes you may not get funding to participate, but given that the space is very much volunteer based it is usually

3. As technology changes we need new people who understand those technology, so we need to explore ways to encourage young folks to do the work when existing practitioners have to leave or may fall short in understanding.

4. Outreach needs to be done to the right people who are also motivated and on the same page with the values , willingness to learn and needs of the space.

5. Africa digital rights barely had a community until non-so-recently but many people were active volunteers, which goes to show dedication and interest.

6. Other efforts are through programs targeted at teaching skill. For example resilience technology's spyware investigation fellowship is looking to build the fellows technical capacity to address various spyware issues in the global majority. A lot of technology skills are not easily transferable which requires alot of effort to onboard people.

7. Part of challenges are that even when these programs are created only few dedicated people stay on to impact the space.