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

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Research ICT Africa, in collaboration with NEPAD Agency (e-Africa programme) and supported by a research grant from the Center for Global Communications Studies at the Annenberg School for Communications, UPENN, has entered a new phase of its research on mapping multistakeholder participation in internet governance in Africa. The main goal of the research is to provide evidence for policy action in support of an effective and meaningful involvement of African stakeholders in internet governance processes. The research, which is located in the political economy of Africa, provides a critical review of the main internet governance structures and processes. From this African perspective it intends to identify the participatory gaps in current internet governance processes. One of the ways in which it will do this is by conducting a systematic and comprehensive reconstruction of African participation in internet governance processes and institutions through a continent-wide online survey that is delivered to key national, regional, continental, and international respondents who have been involved in internet governance issues from an African perspective. Specifically, the survey investigates what respondents have tried to achieve in terms of enabling or constraining the development of an open internet and what has been the level and effectiveness of participation of African stakeholders in these…

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Africa Moves Towards a Common Cyber Security Legal Framework

Ephraim Percy Kenyanito overviews the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at which stakeholders discussed Africa’s Cyber Security Convention. This piece was originally posted on the Access Blog and can be foundhere.

For several years, African states have been working towards common cyber security norms and regulations through the African Union (AU). From June 20-27, the AU Heads of State will meet and are expected to adopt a new Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection. While Access and other partners criticized an earlier draft of the Convention, the rewritten draft has yet to be released to the public, even as it races closer to adoption.

Background

Since 2009, the African Union (AU), has engaged in efforts to harmonize various information and communications technology (ICT) regimes, particularly around cyber security laws. Discussions about the establishment of a common framework have been ongoing since a 2009 directive, the Oliver Tambo Declaration. In 2013, a draft African Union Convention on the Confidence and Security in Cyberspace (AUCC) was made pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union and was published on the African Union website for the African internet community to discuss.  Major concerns were voiced around this draft, and in May 2014 it was revised to a final version of the Convention, which is now set to be approved by African Heads of State at the end of…

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Spotlight on African Contributions to Internet Governance Discussions: Part Three: ITU-CWG Internet

Ephraim Percy Kenyanito and Olivia Martin discuss African participation in the Council Working Group on international Internet-related public policy issues (CWG-Internet) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This post was originally published on the Access blog on May 19, 2014 and can be found here. This is the third post in Kenyanito’s series that spotlights “African Contributions to Internet Governance Discussions.” Parts one and two can be found here and here.

As shown in the 2013 African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) Report, African participation in major internet governance discussions is extremely lacking. In 2013, only 29 out of 54 African countries sent representatives to the AfIGF. Of these 29 countries physically present, there were 195 participants, including government officials, representatives from the private sector, civil society, and regional and international organizations.

What does this underrepresentation mean? Do African stakeholders fail to take these discussions seriously or are they are ill-equipped to engage in the various internet governance discussions?

This is the third in a series of blog posts that analyzes common positions and the divergence in views in contributions from African stakeholders to the major international internet governance discussions. Specifically in this post, the focus will be on African participation in the Council Working Group on international Internet-related

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What did Africa Get out of NETmundial Internet Governance Discussions?

Ephraim Percy Kenyanito discusses what Africa gained from the April 23-24th NETmundial meeting in São Paulo, Brazil. This post was originally published on the Access blog on May 9, 2014 and can be found here. This is the second post in Kenyanito’s series that spotlights “African Contributions to Internet Governance Discussions.” Part one can be found here.

BACKGROUND

NETmundial, the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance concluded recently in São Paulo, Brazil. The meeting’s goal was to develop internet governance principles and propose a roadmap for the further evolution of the internet governance ecosystem. In total, 1,480 participants from all stakeholder groups were physically present at NETmundial, and there were more than 30 hubs around the world (in 97 countries) that facilitated remote participation.

AFRICAN CONTRIBUTIONS

Our previous analysis of African stakeholders’ contributions to the initial NETmundial open submission process found that stakeholders from Africa emphasized human rights and role of governments in matters of internet governance.

COMPARISON WITH THE NETMUNDIAL MULTISTAKEHOLDER STATEMENT

NETmundial concluded with the approval of a final statement on internet governance principles. The final text built on contributions from the initial NETmundial open submission process and inputs from the Public Consultation on the Draft Outcome Document on the NETmundial’s website. However, in the process of…

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