- Cabo Verde and Niger are the only African countries that have signed the declaration.
- Despite being listed as a signatory by the US, Kenya says it has not signed the declaration.
- The US says the declaration will foster freedom of speech in democracies.
Cabo Verde and Niger are the only two African countries that have signed 'The Declaration for the Future of the Internet'.
The United States also lists Kenya as one of the three from Africa to have committed to the cause, but Nairobi said they are yet to do so, since it has to go through parliament.
Government spokesperson retired Colonel Cyrus Oguna said in a statement said, "Our attention has been drawn to a statement published on the US Government White House website on the Declaration for the Future of the Internet. The statement lists Kenya as one of the 60 signatories to the said declaration.
"We wish to state that, as a country, we have not gone through our processes and laws for endorsing this declaration. As per our laws, Kenya can only be a signatory to any international instrument after Cabinet approval, and ratification by the National Assembly."
According to the US, the declaration comes at a time when the internet is providing opportunities never seen before for people around the world to connect socio-economically.
However, despite this positivity, the internet has also provided policy challenges and the world was, "... witnessing a trend of rising digital authoritarianism where some states act to repress freedom of expression, censor independent news sites, interfere with elections, promote disinformation, and deny their citizens other human rights."
As such, "... democratic governments and other partners are rising to the challenge."
The key tenants of the declaration are:
- Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people.
- Promoting a global internet that advances the free flow of information.
- Advancing inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy.
- Promoting trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through the protection of privacy.
- Protection and strengthening the multi-stakeholder approach to governance that keeps the internet running for the benefit of all.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.