Findings of a Survey on Multistakeholder Participation in Internet Governance from an African Perspective

//Enrico Calando of Research ICT Africa presents results from a survey on the perception of African stakeholders on internet governance structures and processes.

An animated discussion on the reasons for lack of African participation in internet governance took place at a roundtable organized by Research ICT Africa at the 2014 IGF in Istanbul.

“There is no coordinated approach nationally or within countries in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region in providing data or research on internet policy” a representative from the government of Malawi said.

Another stakeholder from the private sector said there is “no cohesion amongst all these groups” and a representative from ISOC, despite being regarded as one of the most effective organizations in internet governance acknowledged that “more needs to be done in respect to developing concrete outcomes from these meetings” referring to the IGF.

The debate amongst the largely African audience representing a spread of stakeholder groups was prompted by the presentation of research conducted by the ICT policy think tank in collaboration with NEPAD Agency, on mapping multistakeholder participation in internet governance from an African perspective.

Funded by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Internet Policy Observatory project at the Center for Global Communication Studies, the research was conducted through a survey on the perception of African stakeholders on internet governance structures and…

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African Media Law and Digital Native Roundup 2.0

Welcome to the second African Internet Policy & Media Law Roundup compiled by Ephraim Percy Kenyanito.  This edition of the roundup explores notable events affecting, or affected by, African internet policies and media laws from May through July 2014. Part one of this series on analysis of notable events affecting, or affected by, African internet policies and media laws is available here.

Across Africa

Strategic plans towards harmonization of ICT policies and regulations in Africa: During the fifth meeting of the heads of the ICT Units at the African Union Commission (AUC), the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and Associations of Regulators on Harmonization and Coordination of Regional and Continental ICT Programs, Projects and Activities all adopted a strategic plan, the “Continental ICT Strategy for Africa (CISA), for development up to 2024.” The plan emphasized the following areas: post and telecom infrastructure, capacity development, e-applications and services, enabling environment and governance, mobilization of resources and partnerships, industrialization, and research and development.

The month of May also saw the African Telecommunications Union present a draft strategic plan for 2014-2018 to its members. This plan emphasized the promotion of an optical fiber-based system and other infrastructure developments, innovation, and locally-created apps aimed at enhancing economic productivity in agriculture, livestock, and other fields.

 

Nearly 1/3 of African countries in the bottom 10% of the world rankings in a bi-annual UN E-Government Survey: The UN E-Government Survey assesses levels of digital interactions between the government and citizens, government agencies, government employees, and the private sector. This is important, as E-Government lowers the cost of the provision of services in a transparent government environment. The Surveyfound that Kenya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Ghana are the only African countries with an open government data portal, a database of government data such as…

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Discussion on Multistakeholderism in Africa at IGF Istanbul

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Participants from different stakeholder groups will discuss the results of RIA research conducted on mapping multistakeholders participation in internet governance from an African perspective.

Specifically, participants will be invited to consider how factors such as low level of internet access and use, low quality of service and high prices of broadband intersect with the notion of multistakeholder participation as a form of deliberative democracy for internet governance – which is often informed by assumptions from more mature markets and the human rights frameworks of Western democracies.
Participants will explore the evolution of multistakeholders participation through consideration of the main international, regional and national processes/mechanisms of the internet governance ecosystem from an Africa perspective.

Some specific issues that will be highlighted include:
– What these initiatives have achieved in terms of enabling or constraining the development of an open internet;
– What has been the level and effectiveness of participation of African stakeholders in these processes;
– Why have they not been able to fully develop an African agenda on internet governance?

The GovLab Selected Curation of Articles on Net-Governance: Issue 39

//The Selected Curation of Articles on Net-governance (the SCAN) is a weekly digest on internet governance news, reports, and events produced by the Governance Lab @NYU (the GovLab) as part of the GovLab’s Living Labs on Smarter Governance project. The SCAN is cross-posted weekly from the GovLab on the Internet Policy Observatory. The original posting of the GovLab SCAN- Issue 39, August 22, 2014 can be found here.

This week’s highlights:

  • The ninth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take place from September 2 – 5, 2014.
  • ICANN has released a proposed revision to its Bylaws that would require a two-thirds majority vote for the ICANN Board to reject Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) advice.
  • The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) of ICANN has released a report detailing and explaining the history and management of…

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