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In the lead up to the United Nations’ fifth Internet Governance Forum taking place in Vilnius Lithuania from 14 to 17 September 2010, West Africa is also getting ready for the third of its own regional West African IGFs from 23 to 25 August in Dakar Senegal. The regional forum will create an opportunity for West Africans to engage in discussions regarding internet and security, spam and other IGF issues that will be discussed at the global even later this year. It will also provide the opportunity for West Africans to increase awareness around Internet Governance issues that are specific to their region.

The event will facilitate the participation of key experts and government officials in discussions that will touch on key elements of internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet — in West Africa — and to document suggested interventions for addressing such issues. The output of the discussion will be fed into discussions and the formulation of West Africa’s position for the global IGF and into African regional meetings on the IGF.

The regional forum is the culmination of online discussions that have been taking place in various West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon; and Central Africa. Country coordinators will present national reports for the production of a regional report, as with the East Africa IGF.

The project, is being supported by the Open Society Institute of West Africa (OSIWA), and many other partner organisations like the Association for Progressive Communications, AfriNIC, ECOWAS, Panos, Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

APC has found that the IGF is an experimental and influential policy forum crucial for anyone interested in ensuring open, universal and affordable access to the internet for all people. Find out more about APC’s involvement in the Internet Governance Forum and other regional IGFs.