The Festival began as an idea to scale the policy conversations the Lawyers Hub was hosting in Kenya in 2019. Omidyar Network believed in the idea and gave seed money to host the inaugural edition in 2020. That year the Lawyers Hub convened policymakers, academia and legal-tech organisations from 20+ countries within the African Continent, curated rapid tech solutions under the Global Legal Hackathon and developed key policy briefs for the African Continent on Artificial Intelligence, Data Privacy & Digital Identity, Tech and Migration, and Taxing the Digital Economy.
Themed Digital Policy for economic growth in 2021, the virtual edition hosted 7500 law and tech professionals attend the 5 summits of the festival on Data Protection and Digital Identity, Artificial Intelligence, Internet Governance and moderation, Crypto Regulation and Digital Currencies Summit, Digital access and Infrastructure Summit. The festival hosted masterclasses and keynotes on zoom, panel sessions on twitter spaces and a virtual concert on YouTube.
The Festival was officially opened by the ICT Minister in Kenya flagged off by the Data Commissioner Mauritius and the regional director International Telecommunications Union and representative to the African Union. The festival ended in dance, with the Africa Digital Rights concert themed on Privacy. The Festival was made possible by the support of Omidyar Network, ICANN, Mozilla, Safaricom, Amnesty International Kenya, CIPESA, APC, Internews and the International Commission of Jurists.
The Festival consists of the following
Policy Hackathon - Africa Policy Hackathon
Digital Rights Concert - Africa Digital Rights Concert
Academy - Africa Digital Policy Institute
Startup Alley - Africa Startup Law Accelerator
Summit - Africa Law Tech Conference
Festival Successes over the years:
The ability to convene different stakeholders including governments, civil society, Lawyers, Technologists and the public.
The Policy Publications and tech innovations arising from the Policy Hackathons inform policy making processes.
The Digital rights concert communication of digital policy messages to the public such as online harassment.