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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Touray tasks ECOWAS states on Internet Governance

African representative at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Dr. Katim Touray has tasked Africa, especially in the West Africa to ensure maximize interest in issues of Internet Governance region.

Touray made this call at the opening session of a three-day 4th West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) in Lagos.

He said at the event with the theme “Promoting the Multi-Stakeholder Model for Further Internet Development in Africa,” that African people should take interest in what is happening on the Internet and its governance.

According to him, this has become crucial in the face of the fact that non-active participation, mostly in the on-going various consultations globally.

“People need to take interest in what is happening on the internet and its governance, otherwise, whatever decision that is taken may not be favourable to you,” he warned.

Touray explained that the United States government through its National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is currently reviewing the contract with ICANN, the global organisation charged with the administration of Internet.

Corroborating Touray, the chairperson of the WAIGF Consortium and spokesperson of Free and Open Source Software Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, urged African Internet community to explore the benefits of multi-stakeholders being championed by ICANN.

“Let us explore the benefits of multistakeholderism,” she said, stressing that Africans have a lot of respect and hope for Nigeria, attributing this to the population and resources as well as academia.

“Regional IGF is happening in all parts of Africa,” she said and lauded Nigeria for accepting to host WAIGF 2011.

“If you don't participate, you have to live by the decision of those who participate,” she said.

Countries across the world, she noted, are using the Internet for open governance and enthrone good governance as well as lots of development issues.

“We should see the present and use it to fashion the future instead of worrying much about the past issues; such as cyber crime and cost of connectivity,” she said.

Remmy Nweke

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