APCNews spoke with Bob Ochieng, ICANN stakeholder engagement manager for Africa and a faculty member for the 2016 African School on Internet Governance, to gather his impressions on the experience. Ochieng had high praise for the diversity represented by this year’s AfriSIG class, as well as a few pointers for future editions of the School.
APCNews: What is your general impression about the school?
Bob Ochieng: I think the school was very successful in general with a very active and enthusiastic class that inspired faculty and resource persons to reason out with them together, meaning the deliberations were really participatory. I liked the diversity of the class, not only from a regional perspective (northern, western, central regions of Africa, etc.) but also from a gender and stakeholder background perspective.
APCNews: How did you find the involvement of the participants in this edition?
BO: Most participants were not completely new to the internet governance ecosystem; in fact some were quite versed in their own right and balanced the faculty in their active participation and relevant questions.
APCNews: What do you think went well this year?
BO: The class was synchronised, worked well as one team, and obedient to the leadership and faculty. I enjoyed the teamwork.
APCNews: What you can recommend for an even better edition next year?
BO: For the practicum, the secretariat could consider mandating the participants to represent various stakeholder groups with some minimum conditions acceptable for each group ahead of time. This would make the negotiations from the floor more interesting. Of course, an improvement on the overall planning including the agenda, as well as better internet connectivity at the venue. Some presentations also require more than one slot to cover properly so that they are not rushed.