Law firms across the continent feel that governments must treat work on digital-rights-laws as urgent. The digital legislation, they say, falls into the wider area of fundamental human rights and freedom of speech laws. These are sensitive areas that are enshrined in almost all constitutions.
The role of internet rights groups rotates around providing technical aid to the government on internet rights-related matters. This demands for accountability from the government and spreading awareness to citizens on their rights.
Paradigm Initiative (PIN), a Net rights groups has joined other collaborators who have repeatedly called on governments. There is a need to engender broad-based consultations in the process of enacting digital rights legislation.
“African countries need legislative and policy environments that enable the digital society to thrive. This goes in to the areas of innovation, affordable access and enjoyment of digital rights,” stated a CIPES Digital Rights report published in March 2019.
“Policy makers should also be more transparent in the policy-making process by offering more time for consultations and meaningfully considering the inputs they receive from citizens and
other interested parties,” the report added.
Digital Rights Groups have criticized governments weak consultative mechanisms who often give limited time for feedback on the draft laws. They insist on policy makers towards listening and working on the feedback they receive from citizens.