Digital technologies can be harmful to human rights and democracy if misused – Sadek


The Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana and SADC, Ambassador Jan Sadek has cautioned that digital technologies can be harmful to human rights and democracy if misused.

He says such misuse can occur through such cybercrime or disinformation campaigns and hate speech.

Ambassador Sadek was giving opening remarks at Botswana Internet Governance Forum on 22 October, 2020 in Gaborone.

He said the EU pays particular attention to ensure a rights-based approach to digital transformation, encompassing all human rights and freedoms, promoting democratic governance and the rule of law.

“This people-centred philosophy is at the core of all EU policies in this area and probably differentiates us from many other players” added Ambassador Sadek.

According to Sadek, the EU’s philosophy on technology is emphasized in the Union’s support to Botswana on digital issues, including the CyberSmartBW Campaign.

The campaign is designed to teach young people about both the risks of the internet, and the precautions they can take to protect themselves.

“Just as we teach our children how to tie their shoes or ride a bike, we must also educate them about the risks of internet and how to adopt safe online practices”  advised Ambassador Sadek..

He added “The CyberSmartBW Campaign is only one example of the work carried out by the EU funded Cyber4Dev Project, to help the government of Botswana establish a safe and resilient cyber space. The project has also supported the work of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and BOCRA in the development of national cyber security capacities. It is also working with national stakeholders to further develop skills, knowledge and resilience by concentrating on three major areas”