PARADIGM Initiative has joined the Global Network Initiative (GNI) as the first-ever member organization from Africa.
This development was announced on Thursday, by GNI in a statement posted on its website.
Founded in 2008, The Global Network Initiative is an international multi-stakeholder group of internet and telecommunications companies, civil society organizations (CSOs) investors and academics, who have created a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector. Company members include Google, Facebook and Microsoft while CSO members include Internews and Human Rights Watch.
Paradigm Initiative leads digital rights advocacy efforts in Nigeria and elsewhere in the African continent,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg. “We are delighted to bring their vital experience and perspectives into our expanding global platform to advance freedom of expression and privacy.”
“Paradigm Initiative’s membership in GNI strengthens our global reach, and is the result of GNI’s focused effort to bring in new participants from Global South countries,” Ms. Lichtenberg said.
Paradigm Initiative is a social enterprise that builds an ICT-enabled support system and advocacy for digital rights in order to improve livelihoods for under-served youth in Africa. In support of these aims, Paradigm Initiative runs two ICT training programs for youth and leads a coalition of civil society organizations working to tackle the challenges of internet freedom.
In 2016/17 Paradigm Initiative’s Executive Director, ‘Gbenga Sesan was a GNI-Internews Fellow. The GNI-Internews Fellowship Program supports digital rights advocates from the Global South to participate in GNI Board meetings, policy development and learning activities with a view to applying for full membership of GNI.
“We are excited to join GNI at a time when companies are stepping up their direct engagement with NGOs on the ground to promote privacy, freedom of expression and internet freedom,” said Paradigm Initiative Executive Director, ‘Gbenga Sesan.