Should internet access be a fundamental human right?

April 19, 2021 3793 views 16 comments 2 minutes reading time
Should internet access be a fundamental human right?

Reliable internet access has never been more necessary to reach essential services, job opportunities and up to date information. Adapting to the digital evolution has not only become a requirement for organisations wanting to create an impact in the 21st century, but for governments who are adjusting to the digital world by shifting a majority of their services online.

Africa is quickly joining the rest of the world by making this transition while facing an array of structural challenges, ranging from governance and politics to economic and social issues. With more online activity, there has also been an increase in regulations leading many to argue that some governments have over-regulated the digital space, resulting in what some are calling a violation of human rights.

We asked international broadcaster Zeinab Badawi about her thoughts on whether internet access should be considered a human right.

Governments across Africa are facing the headache of balancing enforcing the rule of law and protecting freedom of speech. The majority of governments have established laws to create order across digital platforms. Some rules are similar to those of Western countries, while other laws have been perceived as so stringent that they border on the extreme when it comes to privacy and freedom of expression.

We asked Paula Ingabire, the Minister of ICT and Innovation in Rwanda, where she stands on this issue.

Should internet access be a fundamental human right? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts!

Image by World Bank Photo Collection Via flickr

Image by  heylagostechie via Unsplash



Top Comment

Absolutely! I agree with the position of Mr/Ms Arun Nyambu and I would like to add that Africa can not achieve its continental free trade area without a permanent accessibility to internet and other communication channels. Internet access must remain available to all including prior,during and after national and/or local elections of leaders.

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Yes indeed! Internet access is vital and economical for faster development of the society.

The Internet is an enabler and a game changer today. We have all seen this especially during the pandemic. The power of the Internet is exceptional, therefore it is a fundamental Human Right. Everyone needs to get connected. #DigitalInclusionNow


Why asking? It's a fundamental right, and it's operational in Europe already. These are things our politicians are ment to replicate in Nigeria but they'll rather steal and loot.

Given the power of the Internet in transforming lives, it should most certainly be a basic right, with all of us having equal and affordable access.

Yes, it should

Violation of human right

Everything human rights to the extent of internet? Aiii Africa. Talk of reducing the cost but not right. Abaaaa

It should be!

In Rwanda the price of internet is high.

Absolutely! The Covid crisis has highlighted the digital divide between those who could continue to work and learn from home, and those who couldn't. Internet access must be available to all just like electricity and running water!