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The Seventh African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) will be held on 4-9 September 2019 in N’Djamena, Chad, with the aim of promoting and strengthening active multistakeholder participation in internet governance in the African continent. For six days, 60 participants from 26 countries will gather at sessions, lectures and workshops on internet governance processes at the local, national, sub-regional, regional and global levels.
The School is taking place right before the African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF). AfriSIG features a practicum that gives participants hands-on experience through role playing in multistakeholder negotiations and allows them to use that experience by participating in the AfIGF immediately following the School. The theme of this year's practicum is drafting a multistakeholder consensus response to the call for input on the report of the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
In the words of Anriette Esterhuysen, senior advisor on internet governance, policy advocacy and strategic planning at APC and coordinator and facilitator of the School, "AfriSIG and the African IGF present an invaluable opportunity to gather African voices and perspectives and communicate these to the United Nations Secretary-General's office. For this year's AfriSIG, the report and this request for input presented an ideal learning opportunity.”
AfriSIG, which started in 2013 in South Africa and has since taken place in Mauritius (2014), Ethiopia (2015), South Africa (2016), Egypt (2017) and Tanzania (2018), fosters critical debate on internet governance from an African, Southern and gender perspective. This year’s participants come from 23 countries, and 28 of the 45 participants are women. Increasing the participation and influence of women’s rights and sexual rights stakeholders in internet governance processes and outcomes in Africa is one of the core goals of the School.
Over the years, AfriSIG has built a multidisciplinary cadre of expertise in internet governance on the continent through the participation of current and emerging leaders drawn from government, business, academia and civil society. A tracer study that examines the impact on individual participants over the first four rounds of the school reflects the huge and positive difference it has made in their perceptions and careers.
In 2017 the School was awarded a World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prize for international and regional cooperation.
Visit the AfriSIG website for information about the alumni, the faculty, resources and reading lists and more. And follow the School on Twitter for daily updates: @afrisig