As our recent Affordability Report showed, to achieve the UN’s goal for universal access by 2020 means we must start working to close the global digital divide now. For that reason, we’ve joined forces with the Web Foundation’s Web We Want campaign to launch FASTAfrica — a campaign designed to jumpstart efforts to make Internet in Africa Fast, Affordable, Safe, and Transparent. Just 20% of Africa is online today; those that are online have to pay a hefty price to connect (500MB costs on average more than 15% of GNI per capita) to Internet with speeds among the slowest in the world. This campaign aims to change this reality, mobilising people and organisations throughout Africa to demand that their Internet access be faster and more affordable, and that their rights are respected online.
The campaign will culminate in a week of action (May 1-7, 2016), during which participants will discuss key issues to be tackled on the path to F.A.S.T. Internet and will highlight those policy actions that must be taken to make better Internet in Africa a reality. Activities during this week will take place both online (using #FASTAfrica) and offline, via a number of locally organised activities, meetings and events throughout Africa. Topics covered will reflect the priorities and creativity of those engaged in the campaign and may include anything — from a workshop on online skills and safety to a petition drive calling for greater transparency in online services.
Following the week of action, we’ll deliver the results and demands of the campaign to political and business leaders at the international and regional levels — results will be delivered by African Internet access advocates to the World Economic Forum on Africa, the Africa Internet Summit, the African Union Summit, and the Internet Governance Forum.
Wondering how you can be part of the FASTAfrica campaign?
- Apply for a FASTAfrica small grant, designed to support local activities throughout Africa during the week of action with those working on the ground to make Internet faster, more affordable, safer and transparent. Grants will be issued on a rolling basis so the sooner you can apply, the better!
- Join the online conversation using #FASTAfrica & by connecting with A4AI and Web We Want on Twitter (@a4a_internet and @webwewant) and Facebook (A4AI and Web We Want).
Learn more about the FASTAfrica campaign, including a proposed timeline and planned activities, on the campaign page (https://webwewant.org/fast-africa/) and be sure to stay tuned for updates and a forthcoming campaign toolkit, aimed at facilitating the organisation and implementation of local activities during the week of action and beyond!