CHAKULA Issue #14: 'Africa at the WSIS'- Joint newsletter with CIPACO

The aim of this joint newsletter by the Center for International ICT Policy Central and West Africa (CIPACO) of PIWA and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), is to serve as a key resource and reference point for stakeholders interested in African ICT policy and WSIS issues. It collects links to essential speeches, presentations, reports and inputs by African stakeholders during the WSIS process (phase 2). It also provides an analysis and commentary on Africa’s participation in the summit. The documents have been collected from various sources, including the official WSIS website. They are organised first by Prepcom (and themes) and then by stakeholder input. Documents are in English, but also in French, usually according to the original language in with they were published.

Ce bulletin d’information, co-réalisé par le Centre sur les Politiques internationales des NTIC pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et l’Afrique Centre (CIPACO) de l’IPAO et l’Association for Progressive Communications (APC), se veut un document de référence sur le SMSI pour les acteurs intéressés par les politiques des TIC et le SMSI en Afrique. Il s’agit d’abord d’un répertoire annoté de liens pointant vers les principales présentations et contributions produites par les acteurs africains durant le processus du SMSI (phase 2). On y trouvera aussi une analyse sur la participation africaine au SMSI et les perspectives. Les documents ont été collectés de sources, y compris le site officiel du SMSI. Les références sont organisées suivant les étapes du SMSI (et les thèmes traités), puis subdivisées selon le type d’acteur. Les documents sont en anglais ou français, dans la plupart des cas, en fonction de la langue d’origine.

CONTENTS/SOMMAIRE:

I – Selected speeches and contributions, by the CIPACO project (Sélection de discours et de contributions – par le projet CIPACO)

– 1.1- PREPCOM 1 – June 2004 – 1.2 African Regional Conference, – Accra Feb. 2005 (Rencontre Préparatoire Africaine, Accra, février 2005) – 1.3. PREPCOM 2 – February 2005 Comments on Internet governance and financial mechanisms (Prepcom 2, février 2005: Commentaires sur les Mécanismes de financement et la Gouvernance de l’internet) – 1.4. PREPCOM 3, September 2005 – Comments on Internet governance and implementation mechanisms (PREPCOM 3, septembre 2005: Contributions sur la Gouvernance de l’Internet, Mécanismes de suivi et de mise en oeuvre)

II – Other documents/Autres documents

III – Work lies ahead for Africa to follow up WSIS gains — By Willie Currie, APC ICT Policy Manager

IV – The CIPACO project of PIWA and WSIS II (Activités du projet CIPACO dans le cadre de la seconde phase du SMSI)

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I – Selected speeches and contributions, by the CIPACO project (Sélection de discours et de contributions – par le projet CIPACO)

1.1. PREPCOM 1 – JUNE 2004

Governments/Gouvernements

Statement by the Tanzanian government
General comments on the summit and on the Tanzanian government strategies
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc1/contributions/tanzania.doc

Opening statement by the Tunisian Minister of Communication Technologies and Transport of Tunisia
General comments on the Summit, the Tunisian phase, the digital divide
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc1/opening/rabah.pdf

Civil Society/Société Civile

Statement to the Plenary Session on Prepcom 1, WSIS Phase 2, Hamammet read by AMARC AFRICA (George Christensen)
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc1/plenary/amarc.doc

1.2. AFRICAN PREPARATORY CONFERENCEGHANA, FEB. 2005

Governments/Gouvernements

Speech by His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of The Republic of Rwanda
Subject : ‘Access – Africa’s Key To An Inclusive Information Society’
-> http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/updates/speech_kagame.htm

Speech by H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana
‘Need to ensure Access to information for all sectors of our global society’
-> http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/updates/speech_Kufuor.htm

Speech by His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal
Focus put on the need of the Digital Solidarity Funds
-> http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/updates/speech_Abdoulaye%20Wade.htm

Civil Society/Société Civile

African Civil Society Online discussion prior to the event –Summary
See: http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh

Report on the Outcomes of the questionnaire to assess the implementation of the Geneva plan of action-DISD/ECA
See: http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/

Private Sector – Internet governance/ Secteur Privé – Gouvernance de l’Internet

Internet Governance : Ensuring Effective Public and Stakeholder Participation -The Role of the Private Sector
Mouhamet Diop, Chief Executive Officer, NEXT
> http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/updates/ppt/African-private-sector-role%20Jan-2005.ppt

Miscellaneous/Divers

Outcomes of the WSIS Regional Conference in Ghana (Les engagements d’Accra pour le Sommet de Tunis)
-> http://www.uneca.org/eca_programmes/it_for_development/events/accra/Enga...

Documents, presentations and speeches of the Accra meeting (Documents, communications et discours de la rencontre préparatoire africaine du SMSI)
-> http://www.uneca.org/eca_programmes/it_for_develop ment/events/accra/index.htm

The Internet Governance Space: Exploring the Core Issues from Africa’s Perspective
Professor Clement Dzidonu, Senior Research Fellow
International Institute for Information Technology (INIIT)
-> http://www.wsisaccra2005.gov.gh/updates/ppt/IG-Present-Final.ppt

1.3 PREPCOM 2 – FEBRUARY 2005 INTERNET GOVERNANCE AND FINANCIAL MECHANISMS

Outcome of the Marrakech Conference : Role and Place of Media in the Information Society in Africa and the Arab States
Marrakech Declaration
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/thematic/outcome/morocco-media-declaration...

Governments/Gouvernements

Ghana-on Behalf of The African Group on Internet Governance presented at the prepcom on WSIS in Geneva on 24th February 2005
Call on all governments, the civil society, the private sector as well as the technical community to pay attention to the Internet as a tool for development and to take part in all the forums relating to Internet Governance so that the concerns of the continent are taken into account in this sector, which is rapidly evolving.
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc2/plenary/Africa24feb.pdf

Statement on the Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) by hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communications, Ghana and Convenor of Africa ICT Ministerial Committee on WSIS at the 2nd PREPCOM of WSIS Tunis phase in Geneva on February 21 , 2005.
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc2/subcommittee/GhanaDSF.pdf

SOUTH AFRICA comments on the Tunis Plan of Implementation and the document called “Operational part” (para 6)
Call to pay attention to human resource training and development, particularly teachers and students so as to promote content and infrastructure development with a view to facilitate the emergence of an inclusive information society. And to provide access increased attention and support to human resource development and education for the information society with emphasis on the youth and women in order to increase the contributions to the global knowledge economy
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc2/subcommittee/SA-para6.html

SENEGALESE President A. Wade address during the second Meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on the Information Society
Address on the digital divide consequences and NEPAD strategies in this framework
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs/pc2/visionaries/WADE.doc

Civil Society/Société Civile

The African civil society’s statement on the Financial Mechanisms : prospects and means for the promotion of sub-regional cooperation (Delphine Nana, on behalf ACSIS)
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc2/subcommittee/ACSIS-fr.pdf

Private Sector / Secteur Privé

The African Internet Service Providers Association : press release
Recommendations on development and financing of African ICT Infrastructure.
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc2/contributions/AFRSPA.pdf

AfrISPA’s response to the current debate on Internet Governance
-> http://www.cipaco.org/article.php3?id_article=86&lang=en

1.4. PREPCOM 3 – COMMENTS ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE AND FOLLOW-UP AND IMPLEMENTATION MECHANISMS

Governments/Gouvernements

The Dakar Resolution on Internet Governance
The African Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Ministers, gathered in Dakar, to consider “Africa’s Common Position on Internet Governance” and the opportunity to debate on building a fairer new world to improve people’s lives and eradicate poverty through the creation of opportunities to generate, use and share knowledge
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co88.pdf

CAMEROON comments on the Report of the WGIG, implementation phase and financial mechanisms
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co57-fr.pdf

EGYPT comments on the Report of the WGIG
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co45.doc

RWANDA comments on the Report of the WGIG
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co47.doc

TOGO comments for the Group of the Chair’s documents – implementations
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co27-fr.doc

GHANA on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP : Africa’s contribution of discussions on chapter 1 and chapter 4 of the Operational part of the final documents of the WSIS tunis phase and Internet Governance
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/Co16.pdf

GHANA on Behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP : African Common Position on Implementation Mechanisms
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/sca/Resumed/African.doc

MALAWI: proposal on the proposed section 42 of Chapter 3 as has been proposed by the Chair of Sub-Committee A (Internet Governance)
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/sca/Malawi-27.doc

Civil Society/Société Civile

AMARC Africa appreciates the recommendation in point 43 of the report on ensuring ‘equal representation of women at all levels’.
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co66.pdf

AMARC Africa on behalf of WSIS Gender Caucus : comment on the report of the working group on Internet Governance
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co66.doc

Commune d’Arrondissement de Hann Bel Air : comment on the report of the working group on Internet Governance
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co40-fr.doc

Conseil Régional de Dakar : Declaration of the African Forum of the Local Authorities on the Information Society
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co24.doc

Panos Institute West Africa on behalf of the African Civil Society Caucus
Proposed amendment to the new proposed draft of the Friends of the Chair on the Operational part
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/co65.doc

Panos Institute West Africa, on behalf of the Africa Civil Society Caucus – Language proposals on Internet Governance
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/sca/panos-26.doc

Language proposal on follow-up mechanisms
Diaspora Africaine pour la Société de l’Information (DAPSI) on behalf of the African Civil Society Caucus
-> http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/sca/diaspora-28.doc

Education et multilinguisme – Déclaration au sous-comité A sur la gouvernance de l’Internet
Diaspora Africaine pour la Société de l’Information (DAPSI) au nom du Caucus de la société civile africaine et du Caucus Education et Recherche
http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/pc3/contributions/sca/education-26-fr.doc

Documents on the African Civil Society e-debate on the WGIG report (Documents du débat de la société civile africaine sur le rapport du groupe de travail sur la gouvernance de l’internet)
-> http://www.cipaco.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=36&lang=en

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II – OTHER DOCUMENTS/AUTRES DOCUMENTS

The report of the African Civil Society Village at WSIS
Par: Nnenna Nwakanma
A number of African civil society institutions created the African Village, at WSIS (ICT4ALL Exhibition platform), under the coordination of the ACSIS network. This report highlights their activities during that exhibition.
-> http://www.cipaco.org/document.php?num_doc=227&lang=en

African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE)
The proposed framework for the African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE) is developed upon request from the Second African Regional Preparatory Conference for the WSIS, held in Accra, Ghana from 2-4 February 2005. It is based on the “Accra Commitments for Tunis 2005” and the vision defined by both the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), under the leadership of the African Union. (September 2005 version)
-> http://www.uneca.org/aisi/docs/ARAPKE%20version%20of%20September%202005.pdf

Rapport du Caucus Africain : Prepcom 3 SMSI
Coordonné par Cisse Kane, DAPSI
Ce rapport fait état des principales questions qui ont été discutées au niveau du Caucus
Africain lors de la deuxième semaine (26-30 septembre 2005) du PrepCom III de Genève, en
préparation du SMSI.
-> http://www.cipaco.org/sources/Rapport general du Caucus Africain2.pdf

LE SMSI : enjeux, résultats, perspectives
Par : Djilali Benamrane, économiste, ancien collaborateur du PNUD.
L’auteur vous propose son analyse personnelle, et relativement iconoclaste du SMSI. Nous vous référençons quelques extraits pouvant susciter le débat. « ..Rien ne peut justifier le mépris des leaders des pays riches et développés et leur dédain à participer à un sommet, dont ils ont accepté au préalable le principe, sous motif qu’il se passe dans un pays du Sud…. Malheureusement, peu de progrès dans les documents de Tunis convenus lors de la seconde phase, comprenant “le chapeau politique” rebaptisé “Engagement de Tunis” et une partie opérationnelle. .. »
-> Lire la suite ici http://www.iafric.net/djilali.htm

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IIIWork lies ahead for Africa to follow up WSIS gains
By Willie Currie, APC ICT Policy Manager

African participation in the WSIS process was multi-stakeholder in nature as it involved governments, the private sector representing internet service providers and civil society organizations across Africa. This was particularly important in a context in which governments often insist that they are the only ones with the right to engage in policy-making processes.

While some African Civil Society stakeholders contributed individually to the discussions, much of their input was coordinated by the network African Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS). Some however felt that the level and quality of civil society participation needed to be improved and supported for a stronger impact.

By the second Tunis phase of WSIS in November last year, there were two key issues at stake:

  • How should the internet be governed;
  • How should access to ICTs in developing countries be managed and financed.

The intervention from Africa that received the most attention was the demand by President A. Wade from Senegal for serious consideration to be given to the establishment of a voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF). When President Wade made this proposal at the WSIS in Geneva in December 2003, the idea of a new financial mechanism was opposed by developed countries. To resolve the matter, a Task Force on Financial Mechanisms (TFFM) was established to investigate the adequacy of financial mechanisms for ICT for Development (ICTD). The Task Force found a number of areas in which current approaches to ICTD financing are not adequate, such as:

  • ICT capacity-building programmes;
  • Access and connectivity in remote rural areas, isolated islands, and locations that present market challenges;
  • Regional backbone infrastructure to link networks across borders;
  • Broadband capacity;
  • ICT applications and content to integrate ICTs into the implementation of development sector programmes in health, education etc.

Governments endorsed this view in the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, and also made proposals for improvements in existing financial mechanisms. These included:

  • Enhancing regional cooperation and creating multi-stakeholder partnerships, especially for building regional backbone infrastructure;
  • Providing affordable access to ICTs by reducing international internet costs charged by backbone providers;
  • Multilateral, regional and bilateral development organisations to consider creating a virtual forum for sharing information on potential projects and financing sources and mechanisms;
  • Multilateral, regional and bilateral development organisations to consider cooperating to support developing countries that request assistance with respect to ICT policies.

The Tunis Agenda also welcomed the DSF as ‘an innovative financial mechanism of a voluntary nature’. The wording of the paragraph on the DSF emerged through negotiations between the Africa Group led by Ghana and the European Union at Prep-Com 2 in Geneva. African support for the DSF was sealed in the Accra Commitments adopted at the Africa Preparatory Conference held in Accra in February 2005. The Accra Commitments also called upon international and regional organisations to assist African countries in the urgent development and implementation of a broadband ICT infrastructure as anticipated by NEPAD. The current debates concerning whether the proposed EASSy regional cable should be openly accessible or controlled by an oligopolistic consortium of telecom companies is still unfolding post WSIS. Recently Ubuntu Linux founder and entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth added his voice to the criticism of telecommunications “cartels” that dominate the African telecommunications sector, and which he said are jeopardizing the potential for affordable bandwidth through the EASSy and SAT-3 projects. At the same time, Kenya’s multi-stakeholder ICT lobby group KICTANeT is about to launch an EASSy campaign for open access in partnership with the Kenyan private sector. According to KICTANeT’s Alice Wanjira, the concept of open and universal access now has the support of the Kenyan government (see http://www.fibreforafrica.net/ for background on the EASSy and SAT-3 projects).

If who has access to the Information Society was the central issue that Africa engaged with at WSIS, Africa was also concerned about how the internet should be governed. African ICT Ministers adopted the Dakar Declaration on Internet Governance in September 2005 which proposed:

  • The establishment of a global consultation framework to review policies on internet governance on a multi-stakeholder basis;
  • The expansion and reinforcement of existing institutions of internet governance to ensure all stakeholders participate to ensure internet governance is efficient, accountable and democratic, and that internet services and resources are distributed in an equitable manner among all actors and all continents.

The African proposal played a role in building consensus for the establishment of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at Tunis as well as for ensuring that the issue of the equitable distribution of internet services and resources be placed on the IGF’s agenda for discussion.

While Africa played a significant role in WSIS, it will be important for African stakeholders to participate actively in the implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action and the Tunis Agenda. African stakeholders will need to develop strategies for engaging with the IGF and various WSIS action lines for implementation. Multi-lingualism is likely to be on the agenda of the first meeting of the IGF in Greece in October 2006. This is a matter of considerable concern for Africa. However, care should also be taken that issues such as access to the internet and the question of reducing international interconnection costs are not marginalized within the IGF.

With regard to the WSIS action lines, Africa has a clear interest in action line C2 on information and communications infrastructure which is currently facilitated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). African stakeholders need to ensure they engage with the ITU to make sure the implementation processes around infrastructure are addressed in ways that can build Africa’s regional backbone networks and lead to sustainable broadband policies and networks across Africa.

Lastly, Africa will need to ensure that the DSF is placed on a sound footing and develops an innovative funding mechanism. Attention will also need to be given to the kind of projects it supports – it may be best for the DSF to leverage its alliance with municipalities and to concentrate on supporting open access municipal networks.

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IV – Activités du projet CIPACO de l’IPAO dans le cadre de la seconde phase du SMSI
(The CIPACO project of PIWA and WSIS II) – see http://www.cipaco.org/article.php3?id_article=674&lang=en for the English version)

Mis en place à la fin de l’année 2004, le CIPACO a participé à la rencontre préparatoire africaine du SMSI, en février 2005 au Ghana. Son site web a été lancé à cette occasion (événement parallèle), et le projet a réalisé une intervention lors de l’atelier sur le partenariat multi-acteur de la CEA et du GKP. Le coordinateur du CIPACO et un expert africain, financé par le projet ont pris part à la Prepcom 3 de Genève, où ils ont, entre autres, participé à la rédaction de propositions par la société civile africaine. En prélude à cette rencontre, un débat sur la participation de la Société Civile Africaine au Prepcom 3 et sur le rapport du Groupe de Travail sur la Gouvernance de l’Internet avait été co-organisé, en partenariat avec le réseau de la société civile africaine ACSIS et APC. En outre, l’IPAO, notamment dans le cadre du CIPACO, avait chargé six journalistes ouest-africains d’évaluer la participation de leurs pays respectifs au SMSI, en guise d’exercice, suite à une formation sur les politiques des TIC http://www.cipaco.org/article.php3?id_article=367.

Le projet était, par ailleurs, au Sommet de Tunis, où il a organisé un certain nombre d’activités. Ainsi, les résultats provisoires de l’étude sur la participation de l’Afrique et de son secteur privé au SMSI ont été présenté lors d’un atelier enregistré comme activité du sommet. Ce rapport a reçu le soutien de la Commission Economique des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique (panéliste lors de l’atelier). Une contribution de cette institution sera publiée dans le rapport final (voir le rapport provisoire ici http://www.cipaco.org/article.php3?id_article=400).
Le CIPACO a aussi accordé un certain nombre d’interviews à des médias internationaux comme la BBC Afrique (radio), Radio France Internationale, Deutsche Welle. Ces interviews portaient principalement sur la participation africaine au SMSI, et au processus international de prise de décision concernant les TIC. Le CIPACO a contribué à la couverture du SMSI par les journalistes africains, couverture assurée par l’IPAO et Highway Africa News Agency (voir http://www.panos-ao.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=305). Son site web a constamment diffusé l’actualité du SMSI. Le projet a offert une bourse à un acteur malien, afin qu’il prenne part à un atelier organisé en prélude au SMSI sur les normes, et au sommet proprement dit. Par ailleurs, la deuxième rencontre du Comité Consultatif Régional du CIPACO a eu lieu à la fin du sommet de Tunis.

Enfin, le CIPACO facilite les discussions entre les acteurs de la société civile africaine engagés dans le SMSI, en co-finançant, depuis septembre 2005, la traduction automatique de discussions sur la liste du réseau de la Société Civile Africaine pour la Société de l’Information (ACSIS – voir : http://wsis.funredes.org/acsis/).

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About /A proposInfo-CIPACO is a regular bilingual newsletter published by the CIPACO project. To read other issues of Info-CIPACO, or to subscribe, check here : http://www.cipaco.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=30&lang=en. For more information www.cipaco.org www.panos-ao.org
The CIPACO has received the initial support of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK, within the framework of the CATIA Programme www.catia.ws. References collected for CIPACO by Aissatou Tounkara. Chakula is an e-newsletter focusing on ICT policy issues in Africa from a civil society perspective. It is published by the APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor (http://africa.rights.apc.org).

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