AfriSIG 2018: Reflecting on multistakeholder engagement in Africa

This year’s African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) was preceded by a two-day skills training workshop, facilitated by the Internet Society, aimed to equip fellows with the skills to effectively participate in multistakeholder discussions.

Internet governance processes have adopted multistakeholderism as a model for effective dialogue and decision making at a national, regional and global level. A key principle of multistakeholder engagement is that, in order to reach a consensual decision, all stakeholders must be brought to the table to contribute to the decision-making process. This gives the ultimate decision more legitimacy as a reflection of collective effort and mutual understanding.

The workshop was facilitated by Executive Director of the Collaborative Governance project, Larry Strickling, together with his co-consultant, Fiona Asonga. Over the course of the two days, the facilitators emphasised that multistakeholder engagements are a negotiation. Effective negotiators are self-aware and understand the value and fragility of their reputation. They also recognise the importance of collaboration rather than competition, and prioritise effective communication.

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