Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) organized by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) took place in September 26-29, 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
The theme of the event was “The Internet Freedom we want for Africa” which was highlighted during the opening ceremony. It was well organized with a dedicated media and photography team who did a great job in their coverage. Attendees and attending organizations were diverse coming from all over the world. They were not only limited to digital security folks but also there were attendees from academia, law, policy and government.
Apart from the opening and closing ceremony, the event had multiple tracks (2 to 4) happening at a time. There were booths from where attending organizations would showcase what they were working on. The Guardian Project had one right in the middle of the Horizontal and Accessibility Labs booths. Talk of being in good company :)
The Guardian Project booth was a hub of activity for the two days. We were showcasing Circulo, Proofmode, Butterbox and F-Droid. The interest in what we do and the solutions we provide was so genuine that we ran out of business cards and stickers. Only a few people had heard of us and were super intrigued with our products that they had them installed on their devices to try them out. There was a cocktail party at the end of the day which was a good event for further networking with the other attendees.
Our session, Resilient Communications ButterBox, Proofmode and Circulo was slotted on the last day at the very end of the day. We did not have a lot of attendees since most people were making the best of their time networking or were planning to leave. To thank the attendees of our session, Happy made a song about the products we were showcasing. Her performance was cut short as all participants were directed to the closing ceremony. It was all festive as they thanked the participants and then launched the State of Internet Freedom in Africa Report.
In conclusion, FIFAfrica 2023 was an awesome event. Lots of connections were made that have turned into friendships. The attendees were friendly and festive. The planning was splendid. We are looking forward to the next one in 2024. Thanks CIPESA.