The APC network is organising this virtual discussion on 29 November to explore how community-led development and deployment of digital technologies around the world are shaping paths towards digital transformation that are socially, economically and environmentally just and sustainable.
Unless you are an astronomer, architect or engineer, most of us toy with this question: “When will I use the Pythagorean theorem in real life?” In reality, this question is true for most things that are perceived as complex.
It was June 2010, the schools were about to go on a long break. The eyes of the world were on South Africa. The first African country to host the FIFA world cup. Huddled in the corner of the small and dusty school library, a little girl came across a book that spoke of computers and the internet.
I remember sitting down writing that application like someone who was writing a state of the nation address speech for a president.
From the first day elation of introductions, the rest of the days went by in a blur; a perfect amalgamation of inquisitiveness, new information drench, subtle nudge to quit, Zoom fatigue, back to excitement, relief, and self-pride on the last day.
The ninth edition of the African School of Internet Governance (AfriSIG) finally happened – virtually, because, well, COVID-19 couldn’t allow various fellows and facility members to attend an in-person school.
What happens when an ardent internet governance activist has to suddenly place themselves in the shoes of the private sector? Or a social tech enthusiast has to play the role of the government during a simulation? Does the shift of perspective strengthen everyone’s grasp of internet governance?
At the IGF we often concentrate on specific themes which might be technical, like the domain name system, or more generic such as access or cybersecurity. The challenges I’m going to raise today are more fundamental issues that affect the internet as a whole.
When discussions around access to the internet are raised, our thoughts turn to whether we have sufficiently solved the issues of poverty, health, education and energy to decide that internet access is a needed right in Africa. But COVID-19 has changed our view of the need for connectivity.
It is undeniable that our world today is a digital one. It is this world that young Africans are navigating today. Perhaps our play, our natural gravitation towards games, social media and movies, is our way of expressing our desire for mastery, and ultimately our claim on the internet.