Three prominent personalities from the African civil society are joining Facebook's new Supervisory Board, a private body that will arbitrate moderation on the network and help promote freedom of expression online.
They include the Cameroonian activist Julie Owono, Director of Internet Sans Frontières, a lawyer by profession; the Senegalese Aria Asare-Kye, an active member of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), a West African organization that promotes democratic values, and the Kenyan Maina Kiai, Director of Human Rights Watch's Global Alliances and Partnerships program in Kenya, who has spent the past 20 years campaigning for human rights and constitutional reform in his country. From 2011 to 2017, he served as UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Peaceful Meeting and Association.
An "African" participation that confirms Facebook's interest in Africa as a market of 2.5 billion consumers by 2050
The fact that Julie Owono, Aria Asare-Kye and Maina Kiai are members of the Council - which will ultimately include 20 members - confirms Facebook's interest in Africa as a market of 2.5 billion consumers by 2050.
Alongside other prominent international personalities such as the Yemeni 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Kolkata Abdel-Salam Karman and Andras Sajo, a former Hungarian judge and Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, the three Africans
will be responsible for « making final and binding decisions on whether a specific content should be allowed or removed from Facebook and Instagram, » according to Facebook’s statement.