Representatives from 25 Ghanaian civil society organisations (CSOs) that are members of the Ghana CSO Coalition on Internet Freedom have been trained on internet freedom and digital rights issues at a day’s workshop organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).
The training which forms part of the MFWA’s internet freedom project featured a presentation from the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) which is the body in charge of implementing all ICT policies of the Ghanaian government. See presentation by NITA here.
There was also a presentation from the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), which is a statutory body responsible for expanding internet access and ICT development to rural and underserved populations in Ghana.
Both NITA and GIFEC expressed interest in working with the coalition to help promote internet access and use of ICT for development processes in Ghana.
Opening the workshop, the Executive Director of the MFWA, Sulemana Braimah, said the internet has become a major tool for development and for expression and thus access to the internet is now a fundamental right.
“Given the important role of the internet in today’s world, it is crucial for all advocacy groups to support efforts aimed at promoting internet freedom which includes citizens’ access and ability to use the internet in their daily lives,” Sulemana said.
The MFWA’s internet freedom project which is being implemented in partnership with the UK-based Global Partners-Digital has since resulted in the formation of a CSO coalition in internet freedom, which brings together more than 30 prominent local civil society groups.
The CSO coalition has become a mobilised voice for advocacy on internet freedom and digital rights issues in Ghana. In October last year for example, the coalition jointly issued a statement calling on the government of Ghana to prioritise internet access and penetration in the country.