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Africa Convenes for Her 3rd IGF

9 July 2014

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As dust settles on the mammoth ICANN 50 meeting, Africa troops to Abuja Nigeria for the 3rd Africa IGF. Building on the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals, and the mandate given at the 2ND phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis (WSIS), the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a United Nations led-activity initiated in 2006 as a global platform for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on prevailing and emerging issues on Internet Governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability, and development of the Internet.

Scheduled from July 10-12, 2014 at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja- Nigeria, this multistakeholder event will see participants discuss critical issues of relevance and concern to the continent as part of a global 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10) from a very practical perspective relevant to individual countries, businesses, technical groups and civil society organizations in Africa. The theme is: "Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multi stakeholder Internet Governance", same theme as the 9th IGF 2014 scheduled for Istanbul Turkey later in September.

As usual the AfIGF has been preceded by a number of national and sub-regional IGF's in Africa including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Mozambique just to mention but a few hence developing national MSM platforms. These fora have renewed the collaborative effort of Internet stakeholders in Africa to help provide a coordinated mechanism for domestic stakeholder's participations in the local, regional and global IG dialogues culminating into new partnerships and coalitions in Africa. Each year (from Cairo, to Nairobi and now Nigeria) the programming process builds on lessons learned from previous meetings to try and produce the best experience for IGF stakeholders.

Coming After NetMundial, ICANN 50, the historic NTIA announcement and WTDC, the 2014 AfIGF is expected to witness increased and active participation from public institutions, private sector groups, civil societies, professional bodies, trade associations, academia, governments, ICT industry, Internet users, and the public as well as media groups. One would be forgiven for terming it "world cup semi-finals" of its kind in this season! Again, it would be good to re-look the organization of the current secretariat (UNECA and AUC) with a view of opening it up for wider community participation and involvement.

Some of the sub themes lined up for discussion include:

  1. Policies enabling Access
  2. Content Creation, Dissemination and Use
  3. Internet as engine for growth & development
  4. IGF & The Future of the Internet ecosystem
  5. Enhancing Digital Trust
  6. Internet and Human Right
  7. Critical Internet Resources
  8. Emerging Issues

The Africa IGF is coming just after the Africa DNS forum also organized at the same venue from July 7- 9, 2014. As usual, ICANN is supporting the 2 events both financially and in key Panels. From Africa, we extend a warm hand of invitation to all stakeholders to join us in Abuja as we engage each other on various topics in the DNS and Internet governance space that are critical to Africa.

ICANN staff will be organizing a workshop on July 10, 2014 as a pre-event.  It will serve to report on the outcomes of the ICANN 50 meeting with emphasis on the NTIA transition of IANA stewardship, the  EWG (Expert Working Group) report on a next generation Registration Directory Service and key  FY15 projects of the African Strategy implementation

Africa must continue her debate on IG issues and a warm welcome indeed!!

Bob Ochieng, Manager, Stakeholder Engagement – East Africa


Bob Ochieng

Bob Ochieng

Sr. Director, New gTLD Subsequent Procedures