Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WAIGF to promote multi-stakeholder model

The West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) slated for next month in Dakar, Senegal, has chosen a theme to deliberate during the preparatory meeting for the global Internet Governance Forum in Lithuania, in September.

According to the WAIGF local organizing team in a public statement made available to ITRealms Online, the theme for the Dakar meeting is: “Promoting the Multi-stakeholder Model for further Internet Development in Africa.”

The team also said that a voting structure was created to enable members of the West African Internet community to exercise their franchise.

But at the close of the voting session, which ended on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, majority of the list members voted for ‘Promoting the Multi-stakeholder Model for further Internet Developmentin Africa’ while the alternative suggestion, ‘Developing the Future Internet in West Africa’ could not make a vote.

Chairperson of one of the organizing team member, the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, confirmed this, saying “West Africa has spoken. The theme for WA-IGF 2010 is ‘Promoting the Multi-stakeholder Model for further Internet Development in Africa’ and thank you all for your time.”

Meanwhile, FOSSFA recently opened call for Internet Governance Forum core team in West Africa to be hosted in Dakar before the end of August this year. Nwakanma noted that her organisation, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and other partners, with support from the Open Society Institute of West Africa (OSIWA) launched a call for West Africa Internet Governance Forum preparation.

The terms of reference for West African IGF consortium group, she said, include for the formation of the core team entails background for the key members of the consortium group of organizations who would be contributing to the development and organization of the 2010 West African Regional Internet Governance Forum.

She further said, the Consortium comprised of members and organizations from the seven target countries, namely Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon; as well as the convening organizations.

Interest members of the Internet community in the sub-region, she said, especially those countries in West Africa but not listed above were free to apply.

She outlined the objectives of the WAIGF to include the facilitation of Internet policy discussions on a multi-stakeholder platform for issues relating to the development and the governance of the Internet in West Africa.

In addition to increasing awareness of Internet governance issues in the sub-region and encourage participation of a broad range of stakeholders in the IGF process within West Africa.

WAIGF, Nwakanma said, tends to create an opportunity for West Africans to engage in, contribute towards discussions regarding spam, Internet and security, and other IGF related issues at the global Internet Governance Forum.


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