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IGF Conference endorses formation of Africa Internet Governance Forum

Addis Ababa, 03 October 2011 (ECA)

The sixth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ended in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday 30 September with the formation of the Africa IGF to act as the leading platform for the continent’s ICT community. The conference was organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC). The four-day meeting was held under the theme : Internet as a catalyst for change : access, development, freedoms and innovation.

Mr. Makane Faye, Officer-in-charge of the E-applications Section of ECA and moderator of the session that established the Africa IGF, said the forum will “ensure that the concerns of Africa are taken into account in the IGF process ; coordinate action on internet governance issues ; strengthen multi-stakeholder dialogue on Africa’s internet governance through regional and national forums and ensure that all countries are part of the regional processes.”

The IGF is a United Nations led-activity initiated in 2006 as a global platform for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on prevailing and emerging issues on Internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability, and development of the Internet. IGF is an outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

The delegates agreed that after the formation of national and regional IGFs, there was need for the formation of Africa IGF to act as a platform for an inclusive multilateral, multi-stakeholder and multilingual discussion on issues pertinent to the internet in Africa.

Currently, there are four regional IGFs - West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) ; East Africa Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF) ; Southern Africa Internet Governance Forum (SAIGF) and Forum de Gouvernance de l’Internet en Afrique Centrale (FGI-CA) for Central African countries. North African countries have agreed to establish their sub-regional IGF as soon as possible.

Ms Alice Munyua, Chair of Kenya’s Internet Governance Steering Committee, was appointed Chairperson of the Africa IGF, while ECA will host the secretariat.
Delegates accepted the generous offer made by the Egyptian Government to host the next Africa IGF meeting in Cairo in 2012.

Issued by : ECA Information and Communication Service

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