The Tatua digital resilience centre, which aims to support Social Justice Organizations (SJOs) in East Africa, has been launched by the Kenya Information and Communication Technology Network (KICTANet) in partnership with the Africa Internet Rights Alliance (AIRA) coalition members.
Initially, the Centre will focus on assisting SJOs in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, with plans to expand its reach to other countries on the continent.
The Tatua digital resilience advisory centre board comprises several organizations, including the KICTANet, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Policy, and the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT), ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, and independent subject-matter experts.
KICTANet will provide secretarial services for the Centre.
The centre’s primary objective is to promote social justice by supporting organizations that raise awareness of social justice issues, organize and mobilize people for social change, and hold governments and corporations accountable while providing aid to marginalized groups.
However, social justice organizations in East Africa face significant obstacles, including limited resources, knowledge and awareness of digital resilience, restrictive operating environments, funding constraints, and the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse effects.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Convenor of KICTANet, Grace Githaiga, the Tatua digital resilience centre will offer several services to SJOs in East Africa to boost their digital resilience.
“These include training for SJO staff and boards, digital resilience assessments, incidence response, developing model policies and strategies, and monitoring emerging issues in the operating environment for SJOs.”
The centre is also part of a network of resilience hubs in the region, including Protection Hub – Defend Defenders (KHRDC, THRD, UHRC), Financial Hub (KCDF and CivFund), and Mental Hub (Inuka ni Sisi), under the Ford Foundation’s Weaving Resilience initiative for Stronger Civil Society in the Global South.
John Walubengo, the Chair of the Tatua Digital Advisory Board, stated that the Centre would support SJOs and offer advice on technical issues despite changing operating environments.
The Centre’s ultimate goal is to help promote social justice and equality for all people in East Africa.