Ayeta toolkit, designed with the overarching aim of addressing the growing need to safeguard digital rights defenders, journalists, whistleblowers and others, working with sensitive information in the global South, was launched virtually on Thursday, December 10, 2020.
The toolkit, a product of Paradigm Initiative, which provides digital security tips and measures that can be taken against potential threats, was developed, as a 2020 Stanford Digital Civil Society Fellowship project, with additional support from the Netherlands Human Rights Fund.
Ayeta toolkit also includes detailed information about digital security actors, a calendar of relevant digital rights events in Africa and links to resources, such as digital security case studies from selected African countries, model policy briefs and media releases, as well as model coalition statements.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the Ayeta toolkit, Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, stated that, the three reasons behind the development of the Ayeta toolkit include the following:
- You do not have to attend a security training to have access to security toolkits
- Every time security trainings are conducted, the same set of questions about passwords, protection of devices, phishing, internet shutdowns, etc., are usually asked, so, why not answer these questions, and make the answers available online.
- To break down the jargon into simple terms, as a resource available to everyone in English, French and Swahili, with translations to other languages in the pipeline.
“Ayeta is a Yoruba word that means bulletproof vest. If you have ever seen a policeman with a bulletproof vest, just think of a local version of it that used to be worn by the hunters, the age-old hunters in Yorubaland, who were warriors, who went to war and you would shoot at them and they would keep charging towards you because, they were not affected, as they had on their Ayeta”, Gbenga explained.
“The thing is that this toolkit can provide information and resources for digital rights actors across the continent, especially, as we see increasing violations of digital rights” stressed Gbenga, drawing analogy from the bulletproof vest of the Yoruba warrior.
“Today is Human Rights Day and we thought it was a great idea to make this part of the conversation. Yes, human rights are digital rights and digital rights are human rights, but that opportunity to protect yourself, either you have been involved in a peaceful protest, or you are working to train other citizens, or you are working on policy initiatives that can help everyone across the continent, as far as digital rights is concerned, or you are a litigator, a lawyer, basically, helping people to make sure that they seek redress successfully, whichever category you fall into, or you are a journalist, who has to protect his source, this is an opportunity to protect yourself”. Gbenga concluded.
You can check out the site here.
The virtual launching of Ayeta was attended by various members of the ecosystem and the media.
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