Centre for Internet & Society

The second freedom online conference organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications, Republic of Kenya in partnership with the government of Netherlands was held at the UN complex in Gigiri, Nairobi on September 6 and 7, 2012. Pranesh Prakash was a panelist in the session on Access to Internet: Challenges and Opportunities.

The following themes were discussed at the event:

ICT, entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility
The use of mobile entrepreneurship for economic and social development in East Africa is a good example of the need for accessible, fast and open Internet. Discussing the potential for best practices in Kenya and other countries, regulatory issues they face, adherence to codes of conduct for corporate social responsibility and related themes would be part of this topic discussion.

Censorship vs freedom of expression, assembly and association
There are numerous examples of countries censoring the Internet by blocking websites, demanding that Internet Service Providers remove certain content, forcing users to practice self-censorship by exerting pressure, fining, arresting, convicting, or otherwise obstructing bloggers, netizens, journalists and other users, thus breaching their legitimate right to the freedom of expression on the Internet.

Access to the Internet: challenges and opportunities
Providing access to the Internet in the first place is a key issue not only for Africa, but also for countries in other continents where access and usage of the Internet varies sharply between urban and rural areas. The developments in this field, including regulation facing providers of the Internet (ISP's, ICT companies, and other intermediaries), infrastructure, innovation, regional and international structures, and how governments could facilitate better access will be part of the discussion.

The two-day conference brought together over 400 stakeholders from the global ICT industry to discuss issues affecting freedom of internet users in Kenya and across the world and come up with policy recommendations for possible enactment by respective governments.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Communications Commission of Kenya, Google, et.al. were the sponsors for this event.

Click to read the Conference Program