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The sixth annual global meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which took place in Nairobi in September 2011 was the first global IGF in Africa. The location of the global IGF in Africa meant that for the first time ever over half of attendees were from the Africa region. The large number of participants from African countries meant that issues of importance to the global south pertaining to all the themes in the IGF agenda had greater prominence than in previous events. The high incidence of African panelists brought new perspectives to a discussion that had lacked immediacy in previous IGFs.
The main theme of the IGF was Internet as a catalyst for change: Access, development, freedoms and innovation. APC strongly supported the focus on access, development and freedom, viewing all three as critical issues if the internet is to fulfill its potential to contribute to social justice and development. The Nairobi IGF demonstrated that this forum remains a creative and influential space for policy dialogue.
Prior to the IGF, APC released a briefing paper outlining our priorities for the IGF. In this report, we reflect on those priorities and on the sixth Forum in general. We also renew our proposal to have human rights be the central theme for the next IGF.