KICTANet, AIRA Launch Tatua Digital Resilience Centre

L-R Mwendwa Kivuva, Secretariat Tatua Digital, Ms Grace Githaiga CEO KICTANet, Dr. Rose Reuben · Executive Director at Tanzania Media Women's Association - TAMWA, Ms Linda Ochiel, Ford Foundation, Mr Robert Kirenga (Executive Director, Uganda Human Rights Defenders Coalition), Protection Hub, Mr Brian Byaruhanga, Digital Resilience (CIPESA) and Muthuri Kathure - Senior Programme Officer - ARTICLE 19 during the launch of the Tatua Digital Resilience Center in Nairobi.

Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) in partnership with the Africa Internet Rights Alliance (AIRA) coalition members has launched the Tatua Digital Resilience Centre, which will support Social Justice Organizations (SJOs) in East Africa. The Centre will initially support SJOs in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda and later scale to other countries in the continent.

The Tatua Digital Resilience Advisory Centre Board is composed of the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet), the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Pollicy, and the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT), ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa and independent subject-matter experts. KICTANet is providing secretarial services for the centre.

As said, the Centre seeks to promote social justice. Such organizations usually raise awareness of social justice issues and organize and mobilize people for social change. Social justice crusaders have also been known to hold governments and corporations accountable while providing support to marginalized groups.

Across East Africa, social justice organizations continue to face a number of challenges. The key challenges they face include the shrinking civic space; restrictive and hostile operating environments; their limited capacity, knowledge, and awareness of digital resilience; the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and funding limitations that inhibit their activities. Despite these challenges, social justice organisations continue to work towards their goals of promoting social justice and equality for all people.

“The Tatua Digital Resilience Centre offers a bouquet of services to SJOs in East Africa to enhance their digital resilience. This entails offering services such as training for SJO staff and boards; digital resilience assessments; incidence response; development of model policies and strategies;  monitoring of emerging issues in the operating environment for SJOs,” Grace Githaiga, CEO and Convenor, KICTANet.

The Tatua Digital Resilience Centre is also part of a wider network of resilience hubs in the region under the Ford Foundation’s Weaving Resilience initiative for Stronger Civil Society in the Global South. Other resilience hubs in the region include Protection Hub – Defend Defenders  (KHRDC, THRD, UHRC), Financial Hub (KCDF and CivFund), and the Mental Hub (Inuka ni Sisi).

“With the Tatua Digital resilience centre, we want to be there for them because we believe in what they’re doing, and when they encounter problems with technical nature. We should be able to advise them, irrespective of how the environment changes,” said Mr John Walubengo, chair of the Tatu Digital Advisory Board