Pan-African Activists Fight Government Censorship in Africa through Internet

qz.com

Africtivisits, a community of 200 cyber-activists from 35 different countries in Africa, is on a mission to use the power of the internet to improve governance in Africa. As African governments continue to cut off the internet and block social media outlets, depriving activists of the tools to connect, collaborate and inspire action, the Africtivists created a network that would help organize across the internet, disperse messages, and apply pressure on governments to strengthen democratic rights and improve transparency. 

The Africtivists helped dethrone former Gambia dictator Yahya Jammeh who relinquished power in January 2017 after 22 years as president of Gambia. They launched campaigns to raise awareness of Jammeh’s dealings using the hashtag #jammehfact and hired a European firm to send mass messages to military officers likely to support a coup. Africtivists also set up a pirate radio station which works only in moments of crisis, broadcasting on the web and the darknet. The group also launched MediaScoop, a service which irregularly sends flash news through Whatsapp. The team hopes to reach 1 million users in Senegal in 2019 when the country holds its presidential election. 

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