Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We recognize that this is a time of social unrest. In addition to a pandemic, Africa is facing challenges that threaten the lives of millions. In the past weeks, we have followed many stories across the continent, spoken with our members, and watched series of unfortunate events grab the headlines of national and international media.
In South Africa, Liberia, and Namibia, there are ongoing campaigns against gender-based violence and rape; in Ivory Coast and Ghana, child trafficking and child labour cases have grown astronomically; and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, more than 1.6 million people, the majority of whom are women and children, are estimated to be internally displaced; nearly 18 health facilities have been looted or destroyed; and attacks against more than 60 schools have left around 45,000 children out of the classroom. And then in Nigeria, a nationwide campaign against police brutality culminated on 20 October 2020—Black Tuesday—in the tragic and seemingly premeditated attack on unarmed protesters; private businesses and public institutions are being looted or destroyed; and related death toll has continued to rise.
As an organisation founded in Africa for Africans, we are deeply saddened by these tragedies. While our programs are focused on building a community of technology law specialists, we have done so challenging inequality and unfairness, especially based on our conviction that a continent that does not protect or promote the welfare of its people cannot possibly actualise its potentials.
For everyone, these are clearly difficult and emotionally exhausting times: we extend our deepest condolences to the victims of these heinous incidences and to the families who grieve for lost ones. We would like to reiterate that we deplore and denounce lawlessness, sexual violence, human trafficking, corruption, and economic sabotage in all forms. We strongly condemn the recklessness of security forces, the deathly silence of political leaders, and the lack of respect for basic human rights.
Realizing that we still have a long way to go as a continent, we must make the issues of economic equality, political accountability, social justice, and fairness a priority across the continent. Now, more than ever, we must stand up for one another; we must continue to demand accountability from our governments, uphold and promote human rights, and rebuild our institutions.
We remain committed to playing our part in building the continent.
INNOVATION LAW CLUB AFRICA