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African participation in internet governance, be it in technical, social or political spheres, is scarce – internally, in terms of the continent’s needs, as well as externally, in comparison to the role that other regions have played in the global internet governance arena. Only a few African countries have established sustainable open and inclusive policy discussion forums where government, civil society, businesses and the technical community are able to interact effectively and collaborate to develop consistent national and institutional strategies, to mobilise the internet for economic, social, political and cultural development.

In order to contribute to the strengthening of internet governance processes and spaces in the region, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is organising and supporting a series of events to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on different dates during September 2015. Check out these activities and visit the relevant websites for more information.

Pre-event on WSIS+10 / 6 September

The “non-paper” submissions for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) review process capture stakeholder perspectives on the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of WSIS, and on potential information and communications technology (ICT) gaps and areas for continued focus, as well as ongoing challenges, including bridging the digital divide and harnessing ICTs for development.

During this pre-event, participants will analyse all stakeholder inputs from Africa delivered for this review process. The purpose of the analysis is to identify what the priorities were from Africa and from those participating at the event, and how well the non-paper reflects the priorities of African stakeholders. Participants will also work on a response to the non-paper, which is expected to be eventually developed into the final WSIS+10 outcome document to be adopted in December 2015.

Read APC’s submission here

More information here

Pre-event: UNESCO’s Priority Africa initiative and internet study – their relevance to human rights online / 6 September

Organised by APC and UNESCO, this event will highlight the findings of the UNESCO study “Keystones to Foster Inclusive Knowledge Societies: Access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethics on a global Internet”, its relevance to human rights online, and the options for future action that it puts forward, which can help buttress advocacy for good internet governance on the continent.

The event’s panellists will include UNESCO representatives, Grace Githaiga of the Kenya ICT Action Network, Ephraim Kenyanito, Dora Mawutor of the Media Foundation for West Africa, and APC’s Emilar Vushe and Anriette Esterhuysen, among others, who will discuss issues such as privacy, access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, and ethical dimensions of the information society.

This event is being held with a view toward November 2015, when the UNESCO General Conference will consider a resolution to formally endorse the options and the so-called R-O-A-M Principles for Internet Universality. A view from the African IGF could contribute to the debate on this issue.

Read UNESCO’s paper here

African School on Internet Governance / 1-5 September

The third edition of the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 2 to 5 September 2015. AfriSIG has become a key yearly event in meeting the needs of African internet governance interest groups. Utilising the expertise that exists within the continent as well as that of international academics and practitioners in the field, AfriSIG seeks to ensure that internet governance institutions and processes in Africa are transparent, inclusive, diverse and accountable; to engage civil society stakeholders in shaping internet governance issues, processes and outcomes; and to improve multistakeholder internet governance processes from the bottom up, e.g. from the national to the regional and global levels.

On Twitter: #AfriSIG2015

More information here

Africa Gender and Internet Governance eXchange / 2-5 September

Following the exchanges in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean in June and August 2015, a Gender and Internet Governance eXchange (gigX) will now be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 2 to 5 September 2015, in collaboration with the African School on Internet Governance (Afrisig).

Around 20 women’s rights, internet rights and sexual rights advocates from the region will come together to discuss and exchange knowledge on the intersections of women’s rights and internet governance. Participants will have the opportunity to put the skills and knowledge acquired during the gigX into practice as they participate in the African Internet Governance Forum also to be held in Addis Ababa. APC aims to strengthen and increase the participation of women’s rights and sexual rights advocates in discussions about internet governance in the region, which will inform dialogues at the global IGF taking place in Brazil in November.

On Twitter: #gigXAfrica

More information here

African Internet Governance Forum / 7-8 September

The African Union Commission (AUC) in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) will host the fourth African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF 2015) from 7 to 8 September 2015 at the AUC New Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, following the Ministerial Conference on Communication and ICT. The AfIGF is expected to bring together participants from all over the continent and outside partners to discuss Africa’s collective common position on internet governance and share best practices based on the results of national and sub-regional consultations in order to chart the way for the continent’s participation in the next global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to be held in João Pessoa, Brazil, in November 2015. APC is playing a leading role in shaping the agenda, formulating the panels, and documenting the event.

More information here

APC African regional member meeting / 9-10 September

Eight African members of the APC network will join APC staff in Addis Ababa to discuss joint strategies for the network’s development, project collaboration, and engagement in policy processes related to ICTs. This meeting is one of a series of regional member meetings organised by APC throughout 2015.

At the meeting, members will share details about their current work, and engage in discussions around internet governance, internet rights, zero rating, net neutrality, infrastructure sharing, digital security, privacy, and other issues of interest. They will also share their takeaways from the AfrIGF, and discuss which internet governance threads should be followed up on at the upcoming global IGF.

More information here .