Church makes online content accessible on their platform

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has updated its online content and has made it accessible to those who have disabilities. The content has also been posted on the Gospel Library app in the Life Help section, including materials for individuals, parents, and caregivers of those with disabilities.
All the Church materials including the scriptures are available in the following accessible formats: American Sign Language, Audio, Closed Captions, DAISY format, Materials on talking book cartridges, Victor Reader Stream Files, and Web Braille.

To say there is no freedom of expression in India is propaganda

While launching the News18 TV channel on the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha of Jammu and Kashmir said ‘There are 392 news channels in the country, which is more than even the United States of America which has close to 100 channels. This speaks volume of the freedom of the media and true nature of democracy in India, but we must all also remember that when the Constitution of India was being prepared, all Indians were given the right of freedom of expression under 19 (1), but 19 (2) also put in some restrictions which I believe are not just restrictions, but duties’. He further noted that ‘There is a need to mind the fine line between freedom of expression, and the expression that hurts the nation. The Constitution clearly mentions the Rights of every individual, but it also mentions our duties. The problem arises when people only talk about their rights and forget their duties’, said Manoj.

The US announced the Declaration for the Future of the Internet signed by 60 countries

The US announced the Declaration for the Future of the Internet, which was signed by 60 countries, outlines the vision and principles to reclaim the promise of the Internet and establish an open global network. The declaration is a response to the recent malpractices to control the internet. ‘Some states have been acting to repress freedom of expression to censor independent news sources, to interfere with elections, promote disinformation around the world and deny their citizens other human rights,’ said a Biden administration official.  In this vein, the declaration’s principles include commitments to:

  • Protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people;
  • Promote a global Internet that advances the free flow of information;
  • Advance inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy;
  • Promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through protection of privacy; and
  • Protect and strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach to governance that keeps the Internet running for the benefit of all.

Report; Are organizations focusing on digital accessibility?

Workers with disability were among the hardest hit during the pandemic, and now millions of  these workers face a living standards emergency – with lower pay than their non-disabled peers, but higher energy and transport costs.

With an estimated 1.3 Billion Persons with disability globally, let’s focus on the workplace power and potential being harnessed from this statistic when looked at as an under-tapped talent pool. 

According to the Valuable 500 report , 54% of companies have an active disability inclusion accessibility policy.

The research reveals encouraging progress towards disability inclusion across  business processes, from recruitment to advertising, with 81% of respondents declaring an improvement on their pre-pandemic disability strategies.

A consideration of disability is now central to many recruitment processes, to improve Persons with disability representation and foster an inclusive work ethos from the offset. 65%  of respondents report adjusting their interview process, whilst 74% advertise as an inclusive employer, and 62% explicitly encourage applications from Persons with disabilities.

USAID launches digital invest program to mobilise private capital for digital finance and internet service providers in developing markets as part of President Biden’s global infrastructure initiative

Within the framework of President Biden’s initiative to strengthen global infrastructure, the United States International Development (USAID) kicked off the Digital Invest program under the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP). The program is a new blended finance program that aims at mobilising private capital for digital finance and internet service providers (ISPs) serving traditionally excluded consumer populations worldwide. During the first year of the new program, USAID will leverage US$3.45 million in U.S. government funding to accelerate the mobilisation of an estimated US$335 million. In this vein, Digital Invest will promote diverse competition, advance the use of secure network equipment, and reduce the gender digital divide through investments in safe, affordable, and inclusive digital services for underserved consumers in developing markets. This will be done by providing technical assistance, fund capitalization support, and direct portfolio engagement to help financiers support earlier stage, higher-risk projects, and startups with clear development impact, including the advancement of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Maps test page

Paris Call – Sub Saharan Africa

Microchips map

Online Consumer Protection Legislation

Data Protection and Privacy Legislation

Cybersecurity legislation

E-transactions legislation

OECD-BEPS Statement Signatories

Sub Saharan Africa – Speedtest Global Index rankings

Africa – Internet Exchange Points

Sub Saharan Africa – Internet penetration rate

Sub Saharan Africa – Internet users (Dec2020)

Sub Saharan Africa – Facebook subscribers (Dec2020)

Sub Saharan Africa – Internet growth 2020-2021

Sub Saharan Africa – Number of Data Centers

Africa – OEWG 2019-2021

Africa – OEWG 2021-2025

Africa – GAC membership

Internet Exchange Points – World

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) launches the ‘Digital Arabic Lexicon’ website

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC) has launched the Digital Arabic Lexicon website. The objective of the website is to promote arabic language by supporting and enhancing online arabic content. It also aims to establish an integrated digital reference for Arabic speakers and non-speakers. The website is a platform which provides access to vocabulary and meanings in alphabetical order in both Arabic and English languages. Featuring the most common Arabic expressions, the website is a tool to position Arabic language as a leading language in the cultural, creative, and academic fields.

​​Brazil electoral court could ban Telegram app for not fighting fake news

Brazil’s top electoral authority, the TSE, is pondering a ban on the messaging app Telegram during the run-up to the next elections because it has not responded to requests to help combat the spread of misinformation. Luis Roberto Barroso, head of the TSE electoral court, explained that the TSE has already entered into partnerships with almost all the main social media platforms operating in the country to combat misinformation about the legitimacy of Brazil’s electoral system. However, Telegram has not yet responded. Telegram’s development team is based in Dubai and has no representative office in Brazil, where it represents  the second-most popular messaging service. Current President Jair Bolsonaro has 1 million subscribers on Telegram, where many of his supporters resorted after other platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, removed some of his postings. Barroso said that since mid-December he has sought to meet with Telegram executive director and founder Pavel Durov to discuss ways to combat the spread of false information before the upcoming election and warned that it will discuss measures to be taken in early February given the lack of response.

Mobile app to manage China’s digital yuan

China is launching a final push in the adoption of the central bank digital currency. The Central Bank of China issued a mobile app for handling the e-yuan (e-CNY), the digitalised version of its currency. The app can be downloaded on Chinese Android and Apple app stores on Tuesday in Shanghai (China). China is conducting a two years long pilot programme on launching the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). 

China reported significant progress towards full implementation of the CBDC, and the Peoples Bank of China’s Governor Yi Gang said in late 2020 that China would continue to advance the development of its CBDC and improve its design and usage.