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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nigeria wins hosting right for WAIGF 2011

The West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) consortium has finally given Nigeria the green light to host the sub-regional event on July 2011.

A top member of the consortium, Ms Judy Okite disclosed this at the weekend in an electronic mail made available to ITRealms Online.

Ms Okite said that finally, a host country and venue for 2011 has been selected.

While congratulating Nigeria, for winning of the hosting right, she said that the 2011 WAIGF would be located in the commercial nerve centre of the nation, Lagos.

She also noted that following the selection of Nigeria to host WAIGF 2011, scheduled to be at one of the five star hotels in the city of Lagos, Okite revealed that the three-day event would last between July 27 and 29, next year.

She affirmed that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would be the host of the event in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

As part of the hosting package, Nigeria is intended to cover the sponsorship for at least the accommodation of 15 international guest participants which include speakers and organizers, venue for the event; tea break and lunch for all participants on each day of the event; airport pick-up for all international participants; a cocktail dinner, interpreters for the event in addition to publicity for in local Nigeria media; and provision of conference materials for the participants.

ITRealms Online gathered that WAIGF has about eight African countries deeply involve including Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Togo, which usually starts its initiative plans activities through online discussions, surveys and national face to face forums.

Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

Thus, the West Africa Internet Governance Forum is a project aimed at promoting Internet Governance issues in West Africa through a multi-stakeholder process.

The Project is run by a consortium led by the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), whereas other members consist of African Network Information Center (AfriNIC), Panos Institute for West Africa, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Internet Society (ISOC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The project had in 2010 received support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), which was hosted by Senegal tagged ‘Dakar 2010’ as the third edition of the regional meeting.

ITRealms Online recalls that Nigeria and two other African countries contested for the hosting right of the West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) in 2011 at the three-day WAIGF in Dakar, Senegal.

Other countries that contested alongside Nigeria for the hosting rights include Cote D’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.

Commenting on the contest, while announcing the contenders, top figure of the organizing consortium and chairperson, Free and Open Source Software Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, cautioned that WAIGF is not a mere government meeting but a multi-stakeholders’ forum.

“So, caution must be applied by potential hosting countries,” she said, stressing that if they want to host WAIGF they must have a very strong national Internet Governance Forum (IGF) team.
Noting that WAIGF has moved away from being an event to being a project, hence the need to bid for its hosting rights.

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