Focus is a short film that advocates digital rights and inclusion in Africa

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The recent turn of events and development has more than ever, highlighted the underlying problem of digital rights and data protection, in the African digital and tech ecosystem. 

While the pandemic has pronounced the need for African countries to adopt certain digital technologies in carrying out surveillance functions, amongst which are contact tracing and collaborations with telecommunication companies, there is little or no comprehensive data protection and privacy law that protects and checks the excesses of this technology in intruding in citizen’s privacy. 

Focus short film, by Paradigm Initiative

Consequently, this weak regulation has allowed governments in Africa to leverage this to clamp down on citizens’ digital rights and exploit the privacy rights of individuals, civil societies, pressure groups and the media. 

Produced by Paradigm Initiative and Up In The Sky Films, Focus explores the fundamental challenges of digital rights in Africa. It spotlights the urgent need for human rights and internet freedoms in the African continent.

Mark, a young, promising Congolese tech professional, gets caught up in the web of the repressive world around him. Being nonchalant, he falls victim to digital and data intrusion and Police brutality. Will he survive the nightmare before him?

Based on true events as curated from people’s experiences, the movie documents the series of youth-led civil agitations, protests for absolute online freedom and violation of rights such as; enacting repressive laws, Police brutality, illegal arrest and killings of bloggers and citizens, internet disruptions, and illegal surveillance.  

Set in Congo, the short film advocates for respect for digital rights, and legal frameworks that promote individuals’ online privacy and data protection. It clamps down on the threat posed by total surveillance and calls for legislation that forbids data intrusion. 

The short film, in summary

  1. Focus tells the story of the violation of digital rights, data privacy and inclusion in Africa. 
  2. It is a 24-minute short film drawn from Paradigm Initiative’s 2020 annual digital rights and inclusion report dubbed Londa. The report depicts the state of digital rights and inclusion in twenty African countries.
  3. The short film is an exploratory way used by PIN to best impact the society through storytelling while spotlighting key issues plaguing the digital rights and inclusion ecosystems.
  4. It is FREE to watch.
  5. Focus is a co-production of Paradigm Initiative and Up In The Sky Films.
  6. The short film has backing from The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United States Department of States and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

Watch FOCUS for FREE:

Established in 2009, Paradigm Initiative is a Nigeria-based pan-African social enterprise working to advance digital rights and inclusion and empower youths with life-changing digital, life and business skills in Africa. Focus is a co-production of Paradigm Initiative and Up In The Sky Films with backing from The Kingdom of the Netherlands, United States Department of States and Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

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