" ITREALMS: IGF: African voices must be heard @ Rio -07 - CSOs

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

IGF: African voices must be heard @ Rio -07 - CSOs

By Remmy Nweke in South Africa

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the continent have advanced plans to send a 20-member delegation to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to be held in Rio de Janero, Brazil in November to ensure that African voices are heard.

At a roundtable session on IGF organised by the Open Society Institute for Southern Africa (OSISA) at the on-going 11th Highway Africa conference in Grahamstown , South Africa , CSOs resolved to ensure that Africa is not relegated at the global meeting.

IGF in Rio is being organised by the IGF Secretariat based in Geneva , Switzerland in support of the United Nations Secretary-General’s mandate from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) with regard to convening a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.

Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, Ms Natasha Primo of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) said that the essence of bringing the crusade to the largest gathering of pen-pushers on the continent was to guarantee that African communicators were not left out.

According to her, the session was basically to raise awareness in the participation of Africans at the IGF by having an understanding of the theme focusing on access, openness, security and critical Internet resources as well as capacity/development agenda.

African CSOs, she pointed out would be sending a 20-man delegate to the global meeting to “Get African voices heard centred on capacity and development agenda. We must make ourselves heard in all the themes.”

She added that the CSOs presently want to continue the crusade online with so as to develop shared position to the Rio meeting with Africa at heart.

“We had a preliminary discussion and we want to take that online for further discussions,” she asserted, adding that those interested should contact OSISA.

The online discussion would kick off on September 15 and that it’s an open invitation to organisations and individuals to join hands with CSOs to make certain the aim is achieved.

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