Internet governance in Africa: Impact on Africa
15 SEPTEMBER 10
INTERNET GOVERNANCE IN AFRICA
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> LILLIAN SHARPLEY: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to workshop 146, the impact of good governance of the intern on human and sustainable development. My name is Lillian Sharpley and I represent AfriNIC and I've had the pleasure to organise this workshop in collaboration with other workshops, APC, FOSSFA, ICANN, OSIWA, PANOS, ACSIS, AfriNIC, ISOC, IISD. This is the merger of two workshops, workshops No. 46 and 146. We have two moderators today, who will also act as chairs for this workshop. With that I would like to introduce you to Mr. Pierre Dandjinou who is representing the moderators. Pierre will take us through the first session and also introduce the panelists. Thank you.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you. Good morning. Can you hear me? It's working. Yes, the one question, do we have any translation here? No. Okay. So what do we do? We speak whatever language we feel at ease with? Okay. My name is Pierre Dandjinou and I will be the first moderator of this first panel.
By way of introduction I will be having actually three panelists out of the six that I line up. Our workshop is 146, is about the impact of good governance for human and sustainable development. Obviously this is as regards Africa. Well. I will be having -- I don't know my order here, but I think it's going to be Adel to start it. Okay. Sorry -- I'm sorry. There is order on our agenda. What I'm reading is (off microphone) -- she'll start, because of Africa and ccTLDs for improved management of Internet resource at local levels. I think she needs no introduction here. We all know her. She's part of the partnership development at ICANN. It includes how to reach, support and engagement with respect to stakeholders.
I'd also like to say that Anne is one of the few female pioneers of Internet and connectivity in Africa, and with that I'd like to leave the floor with Anne-Rachel for ten minutes, okay?
>> ANNE-RACHEL INNE: Yes. Thank you very much for the introduction, Pierre, and thank you, AfriNIC and everybody, for asking me to talk about the issue of domains in the region. Maybe some of you don't know but we have about 54, 54 country code top-level domains in the African region, and what -- among those, I do not have a presentation so I'm going to talk to the subject. Among those historically there have been ccTLDs that have been managed by either universities, telecom operators or, you know, individuals sometimes outside of the region.
One of the things that people talk about about African ccTLDs is to say, well, a lot of them are managed outside of the region. It is not true. In fact, most of them are managed in Africa. Most of them are right now even technically managed in the region. We have historically places in the region, countries, where because of electricity issues, where because of, you know, civil wars and instability, the primary servers have not been able to be managed at home. So those, you know, have historically been managed outside, but that is not considered to be -- it's only the technical management that is done outside and this is because of, you know, circumstances at home that would not allow the ccTLD to be managed at home. So we have right now three only that are managed by an individual that is outside of Africa. This is one of the -- it is the legacy situation that we still have. The countries are actually working to make sure that this is resolved, all three of them, and one of the issues that we have, though, is that the majority of the country code top-level domains in our region are really not technically managed well.
If you were in the session where I spoke yesterday, you will have heard me talk about the fact that in a lot of places ccTLDs in the African region are managed practically as a moonlighting job, because when they're sitting in telecos for example, most of the telecos have been privatized. We keep hearing from the administrator that they have no right in managing the ccTLDs, so basically they don't put any money in it, and you have basically one individual or two whose jobs part-time are to take care of the ccTLD in the telecom setting. And you have other places where the ccTLD is in a university.
Most of the time universities in Africa are subsidized by the government. So when there is subsidy from the government, does it -- in a university, does it go to the teaching, the books, what is, you know, proper to the university or does it go to the ccTLD to foster a good management of the TLD. So this is really a lot of times the context, or sometimes, you know, in certain places it's just managed by one individual, now the community would like to take it back but they cannot come together to do what is required to take it back.
Fortunately, we actually have seen for the past four or five years a migration from, you know, these legacy situations that we have to the community coming together, talking and trying to do something that is multi-stakeholder basis, which means the government, civil society, academia, private sector, everybody is involved to talk about how to manage the TLD technically and administratively, and when I say administratively, it's a matter of having a charter, basically somewhat of a collective set of rules that are set up for the domain in terms of, for example, who can buy a ccTLD. We still have countries where, for example, if you're outside of the country you cannot buy their domain.
So this is a closed charter, and you have other places where, you know, it's -- it's open to everybody if you can demonstrate that, for example, you have an interest in the country, okay? So this is a charter that says who can buy the domain, at what price, what type of sublevel domains we have under each domain, dispute resolution processes, you know, recourse in case, you know, something happens, so really proper administrative management that tells people, this is really -- this is a domain that you can count on. These are the rules, and they will be respected. And technically a domain needs to be up 24/7, 365 days a year. It's not something that you can allow to basically lapse, you know, for 28 -- you know, 24 or 48 hours.
So sound technical management, you know, if we can make sure that a ccTLD demonstrate to private sector and to the community that when I have a business on a domain, that, you know, my work site is not going to go down overnight or, you know, be out of the Internet for the next I don't know how long while I'm losing money. That is something to also, you know, give trust to people.
When people know they have a recourse when they -- you know, they have a dispute, and that is really done properly, that is something that fosters trust. If people have content that is of interest to them, that is something that fosters not only use but also trust, because, you know, people can actually do Web sites, for example, they can put content in their language, okay? And, in fact, a lot of ccTLDs tell me, well, how do we do this?
Most of the African languages, the majority of them can be written with the ASCII language. The little -- the very few funky letters that we have to represent sounds in our languages also have been codified in Unicode. So it only takes, you know, sound technical management but also, you know, goodwill from, you know, the manager, and also push a little bit probably from the community for them to do that. So the more -- in terms of, you know, governance of a TLD, the way, you know, it is managed is very important.
The trust that people have in it is very important, and in the end this is where everyone -- you know, this is where you're going to pay your taxes. This is where you're going to pay -- or you're going to be interacting with your doctor, you know, for local, eCitizenship, eHealth, eEducation. You will not do it on an eTLD. This is why we absolutely have to come together as communities at home and make sure that ccTLDs are working well. GTLDs will never do that. There are things that simply cannot happen on a dot -- somewhere else. It's got to be the home dot. So the better governance we have, you know, the better we can really benefit from our country code top-level domains. Thank you very much.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you, Rachel, for this quick and straightforward the better governance we have, the better it is for our own development.
I would like now to turn to Adel, Adel Gaaloul, who is going to take us through how IG may impact the management of our critical resources at local level. Adel is here, AfriNIC. He's also one of the important or key actors on the Internet front in Africa, so let's hear from him what he thinks about management of the critical (off microphone) in Africa and how this will impact the overdevelopment.
>> ADEL GAALOUL: Thank you, Chair. Okay. I think the song from the other rooms are not helping a lot, but I will try to speak a little bit louder. Thank you. Yeah, I will try to summarize what we are talking about here, and when I received the email about the title of my presentation, which is "Internet Governance' Impact on Critical Internet Resources," I asked myself if that should be Internet Governance as such or good Internet Governance. So I think it's how good Internet Governance can impact critical Internet resources at the local level.
Whenever we talk about Internet Governance in general people first focus on critical Internet resources because the thing -- that's where there are more controversial issues, there are more issues to be solved. However, we know that Internet Governance is not only about critical Internet resources but as the name says, those resources are important for the day-to-day running of the Internet. So managing them properly is key for the success of the Internet in our region, but it's not something that is always taken into consideration in all term Internet development strategy in most of the countries in Africa. So how can we see the direct linkage of good Internet governments and good management of the Internet resources as important. When we talk about critical Internet resources what are we talking about?
First thing that comes to mind are domain name, ccTLD, IP addresses, but critical Internet resources go beyond that. When you talk about Internet resources -- critical Internet resources we talk about exchange points, for instance. We talk about energy, just energy to run those equipment for Internet resources. We talk about reverse (off microphone), we talk a lot about (off microphone) that's wrong -- but today the DNS resources are very important. We talk about routes. We talk about human capacity because we need engineer to run the Internet.
So critical resources for me is very wide, but I will not try to address all of those critical aspects of the Internet resources but focus only on what I know better, which are maybe domain name and Internet number resources.
When we talk about the governance of the Internet, it's covering mainly the way we derive policy that will impact the management of those critical Internet resources, but more globally will handle the development of the Internet. The governance of the Internet for me, it's based on a culture, a culture which has been the roots of the Internet that we know today, which is a (off microphone) approach, which means putting the user in the middle of the Internet, in the middle of the (off microphone) which is a communication atom. The stakeholder approach in taking a decision in designing the Internet, in writing policy about Internet development is critical, and when we start talking about good governance, good Internet Governance, if I may say, the first thing that comes in mind is how do we make sure that we fully integrate stakeholder approach in the decision we take locally for the Internet developments.
How do we put user as key factor of the Internet development in our different cultures, but they are the one who makes the Internet. The Internet is a collection of (off microphone) connect together to provide global services, which is quite different from what we know about communication before, when there is a central management power used by the end users. Today the Internet is made by users, so their role, their view is very important when deriving a long-term strategy.
We need to make sure that the way they are seeing the Internet, the way they are using it their perspective -- and long-term perspective is (off microphone) when deriving rules, progression, deriving strategy for development. Managing Internet, numbers are critical. How do we make sure that user who will be the people who those Internet resources will be assigned are (off microphone) take into consideration how we are managing those. Yes, they get their resources but at the end of the day they use them to provide services to the end users. We are talking about the IPv4 (off microphone), how much is the end user aware of IPv4 in the -- how does that impact how we manage the critical resources, Internet resources locally. IPv6, which is the future of the next generation of the Internet protocols, how will IPv6 impact users, how will IPv6 impact businesses. How will IPv6 impact governments in the way they provide services to those end users.
I will talk briefly about domain name. How does domain name, ccTLD in our country, give identity to our business, local business, give identity to our local users? Those are things that we can not use the current governance model to really tackle, because the Internet is -- before all is corporation, is a true business corporation, and when we talk about corporation, we talk about different culture, we talk about different people, we talk about different approach, and if you don't put it together we won't be. We will never be able to address all the aspects.
So for me one of the critical impacts of good governance is the stakeholder approach, is the way to put user in the middle of decision and long-term strategy for those particular Internet resources management.
When we go to like exchange point, why do we talk -- are we talking about exchange point? Yes, theoretically this looks very fantastic to say keep local traffic local. Well, what does it mean for the end users? Which impacts on an exchange point will have on the users of the Internet? How do we take that into consideration to set up exchange points in our country? Do we take into consideration only the business aspect whereby we have local traffic local, so probably ISP will be making last costs, but ISP paying less cost for local traffic directly impacts the he said user because what do we need to access information in our day-to-day life, and that information is generally local information, I want to know what is the grocer near to the place I live. I go to the Internet. I want to deal with the government. I want to apply for my passport. That is local information.
So how can I add value to that local information, make them cheaper for the end user? So that again goes to the critical -- managing particular Internet -- critical Internet resources by setting up exchange points, getting the community together to understand why it is important not only for the ISP, not only for the government to have (off microphone), the -- it is local for local ISP to appear together locally because directly it will impact their cost of getting connected.
Critical Internet resources are very important for the Internet, globally. They are also very important for the development of the Internet locally, but they will have a weight of their value if they are approached with a (off microphone) approach, with the view of the end user. That's what I will say at this point, and I hope that two different portions on the management of critical Internet resources in general we can try to narrow down this discussion further. Thank you.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much, Adel, for your highlights. I notice the central part that you are putting to the users, you are demonstrating that we need to manage those critical Internet resources for the users and for the communities. You stressed strategies for development, and I like this idea of considering the identity of local users for the benefit of all of this. We'll have time for questions in 15 minutes. Let me just pass it over to Gaaloul, Adel (off microphone). Adel, of course, has been involved in many, many initiatives, has many responsibilities at home. CVs are also on-line on the Web site. It's quite interesting to also understand that Adel has been involved in ICT related, you know, implementation, especially on eEducation and eLearning approaches, but I think Adel is going to talk about broadband issues. So Adel.
>> ADEL GAALOUL: Thank you. I would like to speak about broadband infrastructure and the potential to develop Internets. I will try to -- to organise my speech or my -- this intervention in three points. The first point will be how broadband public policy can enhance ICT enabled developments. The second point, key points about actual development, and the third point, I will also speak about the digital (off microphone) and the importance of this frequency band to enhance the mobile broadband developments.
First -- first I think that many African countries developed broadband strategy today to provide broadband services to -- first to companies, to enterprise and also to (off microphone) and to people in general. The strategy is one, I think of importance, to organise all the work of the operators and to guide them -- to guide them but also to give them the capacity to introduce services that will enhance economic and social developments. This should, in my point of view -- viewed in government as possibility, but now I am in charge of private company, which is building a place for operators. I will focus on four -- four points. Broadband should be promoted as a tool for development and competitiveness. It should also guarantee access for all, and especially for scores, for education and for health. It should have integration of ICT in learning, in teaching, and accelerate the development of more value-added services and contents.
For example, in Tunisia, this policy, we've now -- we have broadband describers and we're -- 1.4 million (off microphone). This public -- this public policy have challenge to build a broadband infrastructure. I feel the -- the challenge -- the broadband service delivery, what we call the last-mile broadband delivery. But also to use, and to (off microphone) in different part of (off microphone) a network that will be configured for (off microphone) data, telephonic and video and all kinds of applications today. It's about promoting contact and a new kind of services and implementation on this broadband technologies.
In my second point I will make more focus on infrastructure. I will see that I can split infrastructure in three levels. The first level is nationwide backbone. This backbone -- optical backbones are important and are becoming today less and less expensive because of technology of optical fibers. The technology of optical fibers (off microphone) and also the technology in civil works with these -- in these last decades, so we're sure that costs are lower and lower and today optical fiber is one of the best technologies in terms of quality and also in costs. But also to develop (off microphone) networks. We saw that (off microphone) many more are using technology like Internet, and it is -- we can reach, today 40 gigabits per second and (off microphone) with this technology. And networks optical fibers, networks are important to the (off microphone) the access network, to give quality to the customers affects (off microphone) networks, but we have the -- more than a -- kilometre of optical fibers and now we are covering all the country with metro Internet network to a real (off microphone) broadband infrastructure.
(off microphone) access infrastructure, and this is maybe the most costly thing, and it is for countries like mine are -- in Africa, this is maybe the poorest part of the network. So we have many, many access (off microphone) with different -- and that fit in different situations, fix this access, optical access networks on (off microphone) points, access like (off microphone) yards in some cases, which is not only to provide worldwide access but also to deliver a fixed services based on the networks. This is the strategy held by many operators.
But to deliver goods -- good service, mobile service (off microphone) frequency, and I would like to speak about the digital dividends, which is a frequency spectrum known as digital dividends between 62 and 790 megahertz, which is now used by (off microphone) activity, so we decide to -- digital television, it covers today 90% of the country and will cover in the next few years 100% of the country (off microphone) broadcasting in 2014. This -- this frequency, which is (off microphone) to combine broadband (off microphone) network, is very (off microphone) for enhanced applications. So this is a frequency that could develop rapidly broad bands in Africa. So thank you very much.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much, Adel, for this contribution highlighting, you know, the need for national strategies for broadband. Now we do have some time for discussion, basically to actually assess where they were able to address the issues at stake, and the request, of course, was how the Internet Governance Forum, and basically critical Internet resources contribute to the African development. We just -- we went through a few of those critical resources. You know, we talk about ccTLDs and IP addresses and broadband. Of course the second part of this panel is going to tackle other issues.
As of now I would like us to put whatever question we have, contribution, we do have close to 15 to 20 minutes for that. So please, the floor is yours if you have any question for our panelists. We are ready for that. The mic. Okay. Ben, go ahead.
>> Thank you, Mr. Chair and the panel, for doing such a great job. I have a comment and two questions. The first comment is that we -- at IISD, National Institute for Sustainable Development, carried out some (off microphone) which we fed into the West Africa governance, and I thought at some point it would be important to highlight some of the findings of that survey. And I hope that we might want to maybe have some discussions around that, but one of the key outputs of the West Africa forum that we had was that a lot of civil society institutions and the partners that were at that meeting still looked up to governments for the management of resources, critical Internet resources for, you know, management of domain names, for multi-stakeholder participation, for policy making and governance -- of Internet Governance or Internet issues in the countries that we come from. And that's an interesting finding, given that all the while we're talking about multi-stakeholder participation and the perception of most of the -- of multi-stakeholders is that government is either lacking in the process and needs to come into the process more fully or that they do not see the value of this multi-stakeholder participation.
I'd like to know from the panel what your thoughts are on this because I think it's quite critical in terms of how we manage some of these things. Perhaps up until now what it means is that we haven't seen the full participation of governments in the process, and that's why some of these challenges that you have talked about has still been -- still evident in the countries that you have talked about. But my question is, given the amount of content -- and this is to Anne-Rachel, the amount of content, and I've heard you speak about this sometimes before, we have government (off microphone) sitting on public service globally, managed by the dot-coms, dot-FRs sitting all over the world, email transactions, top-security information are being run on Yahoo and Hotmail addresses in a lot of places. What -- what, if any, can I do in terms of managing those sort of information? You've talked about keeping things local, and I would like to know what you think is something that can be done along these lines.
My second question is to Adel. Adel, you talked about managing critical Internet resources. I like the twist you placed to it, that there is a cultural aspect to it, I guess that there's a mind-set that we have to think about it differently how we manage our critical Internet resources. But I wanted to raise some issues with respect to IP address management. First of all, AfriNIC seems to be among the list of IPR employing addresses. From the West African forum that we had, one of the key issues that came out was a lot of resources, IP addresses are being blocked nationally and that our mails are not making it around the world. And perhaps to my sense in my mind that that has maybe an indication as to why IP addresses from the continent may not be viable to people, given that if I buy an IP address from a blocked IP address from the continent mails and my business won't be as visible to the Web the way I wanted, perhaps that is an indication to AfriNIC that something -- AfriNIC in terms of marketing the -- this has implications on IP address. It doesn't -- v6. If we wanted to change the picture -- change to IPv6, it's probable those addresses will be blocked. A cultural thing needs to happen. That's not just within the continent, we can make our continental things, but in the global space things need to change.
What is AfriNIC doing, what can AfriNIC do in terms of national negotiations things that need to change so we can have better presence under way.
>> PIERRE DANDIJINOU: Thanks, Ben. Many important questions, and since Adel has to leave in 15 minutes for (off microphone), I'd like to give him the opportunity to quickly respond to you and then the rest, of course, will be covered by the panelists.
>> ADEL GAALOUL: Thank you for allowing me to quickly respond before leaving. I will address two of your questions. The first one, which is a global comment from the -- the result of the survey, which is quite interesting, and as you -- you rightly pointed out, that's -- that denotes an absence of government in general when it comes to Internet critical resources management or Internet Governance in general. If we look at the story of the Internet in many countries in Africa, for a long time there was no involvement at all of government in that, and why is that is because of the legacy telecommunication companies which were run mainly by government at some point in time, for which Internet was not the priority.
So for a long time Internet has been neglected, sorry, just because it was not the biggest source of revenue for those companies, and secondly, the approach of the Internet development does not match what was the cultural demands, the way telecommunication is managed in many of those countries. And if people are asking today, requesting government, it's also because of that culture, because in our origin we have always seen government involved in communication, taking a very prominent role. In the Internet we are not seeing that.
So people with a lack of awareness and lack of information about how the Internet is run, where is it coming from? Why is it governments are not involved and how governments should be involved. Turn to government and say, hey, we are using this tool but we are not seeing you here. We used to see you. Where are you? What are you doing?
So I think that's where the cultural changes comes in, and I like the example of Kenya. I don't know if Kenyans are here to talk about the experience of Kenya. Kenya is a country where really government and the civil society and the business community has come up and worked together to correct a vibrant community where end users feel the importance of them being here -- by the government, the government be here by the civil society. The business being here about what business -- so that the policy and rules really matches the culture of the Internet, which is lacking in many countries, especially in West Africa, just to come up with that survey.
So I think there is a big change that is needed in the mind-set in explaining, in raising awareness to end users about the way Internet basically -- how it works, why -- where government rules comes in, where government rules come in, where the business rules come in. So I think it's a common and shared responsibility for all of us to continue doing this awareness job, continue getting government involved as well into the debate, where they are playing the role of facilitators or catalysts when it comes to the management of those critical Internet resources.
I will address the second aspect of your question which is a little more technical question. Just to clean up some wrong perception about the blocking of IP -- IP address from the original are not blocked. We are suffering a lot of a lack of rights approach in setting up our network. A lot of network operators, a lot of operators contact AfriNIC every day, about their address being blocked, about them not being able to send mail, but the down -- and looking at the issue, in most of the cases is because they don't have the right management tool entirely to handle the Internet. Because they let spam go through their network without any country.
Proper reverse DNS -- that's a critical part of the way the Internet works. If you're running an Internet and you don't have a reverse DNS, your mail will be blocked. So there are other people who have regulations in their country, who has to make sure that what is going through the Internet will (off microphone) and take measures. The Internet is a collaboration. If you are doing bad something bad in your network it impacts everything global. So at some point you have to say, if you will not protect your Internet I will not let your IP address go through. This is a technical matter. One thing we try to do at AfriNIC is try to help them know what the issues are and help them solve them, and we have a lot of those kinds of problems. They block IP, a function issue about blocked IP addresses are (off microphone) best practices when it comes to service on the Internet. 90% of them.
The other may be due to wrong configuration and generally they are very quickly solved when we find out those kinds of -- talk and configuration issue between system administratively. They are very quickly solved, and I will say it again. Internet is not a centralized tool where there is somebody in the middle that decide for everybody. Internet is a media that is made of different networks managed by different people who agree on the rules they use to talk together, and if we don't take that into account we will always have problems because we will be waiting for somebody in the middle to make decision for everybody, which won't work.
So while we continue working and raising awareness, supporting initiative of training, like (off microphone) -- I know that training initiative for the technical community, we also need the end user to start understanding those basic and fundamental elements of the Internet so that we can -- we can go across it, because quite frankly, there is no government that can, based on its own legislation, take a rule that will affect others in other countries because everybody has their rule that they use to manage their network. It is a (off microphone) network, and that's the -- that approach is something -- something fundamental to understand.
We will do as much as we can at AfriNIC level to try to help people who raise that kind of issue. If you know them ask them to contact (off microphone) dot net. They will be able to identify where the issue is coming from and give them hints on how to solve the issue. We have access to many forums where we can raise those issues at and get feedback. We can help them. What we cannot do physically is to go to every single network and solve technical problem. We can help them identify them and find a solution, but what we're expecting also from the community in general is help spread this way of thinking, this basic information about the Internet, this -- this approach whereby everything that you do in your network can have a global impact on the stability of the Internet, and there are some people, some other people from part of the Internet that will take measure to block you because you are not following the right and best practices.
So I don't know if I've talked -- answered your question, but I will be available around if you have further questions, and if you have any question related to that.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay. Thanks very much, Adel, for those responses and addressing collaboration. Any sort of last question for Adel before he leaves? He said he's also available here so -- I see -- okay. Just one. How do I do now? Okay. We -- I'll give you one minute, 50 seconds. Go on, please, and then --
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes. You talk about -- you talked about blocking the site because the best practice --
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Can you introduce yourself, please?
>> My name is Charles Gay from Liberia, intimate society. You talked about blocking a site because a best practice has not been served, but out here there are a lot of sites running that they don't observe best practice when it comes to connection. Like (off microphone) geography still has not been block. It still runs. In some countries it's running and people are on the net and they can't block it any way. In some other countries too people can block it because they don't want it, but that is not a solution. It's still on the server, but yet people in Africa who are trying to do something --
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: What's your question?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, why do they just go ahead and block before letting you know that you are not following the rule, this is the rule, why can't you follow it?
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Take the last one and then --
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. Thank you, Adel. My name is Andrew Mac from AM Global in Washington, and we work around Africa a great deal as many of you know. I wanted to pick up on one of the things that Adel said of he talked about the fact that people are looking to government for solutions in this space and for government to provide them with the structure and with security, and I think that that's important, but what we have seen all around the world, and especially in Africa, is that the countries that have moved forward the fastest are the ones, in fact, that make a coalition between government and private sector, both international and domestic, but especially the local private sector and the civil society community, that -- when they work together they can address those kinds of issues that you're talking about, Mr. Gay.
One of the biggest challenges that people see is they want the Internet to be safe, they want it to be a place where they can make money. This is in the interest of all of the sectors, and it's especially important in Africa because you don't want to fall farther behind. You want to be moving farther forward. I spent some time recently in Nigeria, and to watch the incredible explosion of the Web and Web enabled phones and the number of people that are counting on this for their future, so the only way that it's going to happen quickly and move out fast to the large number of people that you're talking about who really need to know more has to be in a coalition with the private sector and with civil society.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much. We do have a remote question, quickly. What's the question? Yeah. What was it about, quickly. Can you repeat it over, please? Who has the question?
>> It's a question about human resources as a critical Internet --
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Resources, okay. Adel, one minute and then you are off.
>> ADEL GAALOUL: Okay. First of all, from our friend from Liberia, very interesting question, but when I was talking about best practices I was talking mainly about technical practices, because I'm -- I'm here at a very low level of the structure, so I'm talking about technical best practices, which are known, which are documented and are not unilateral in most of the cases are not unilateral decision to block. Then your question is more about the content side, about the services which are provided embedded on the communication side, which are mainly based on local law, right, on regulation, on what the country will allow their citizens to access or not. So that is another level of blocking or restriction, which are not technical, and on those kind of things AfriNIC can do nothing because it is more about the local (off microphone).
What we are talking about here are technical blocking, meaning your address is blacklisted by an (off microphone) supervisor because they cannot look at the reverse IP address to see who is behind the address. All you are letting filter go through. And in many case, in 99% of case, they warned the operator several times, but what's happened is that most of the network operator, they have the email that monitor the junk, then they never read it. They never read it. So those processes are documented. There are a lot of documents that talk about those best practices, the way to set up to properly do it so that's what we're talking about. The content is a more elaborate debate in which I'm not going to go now. We don't have the time.
The question from Nina about the human resources, the human capacity, I think I talked about that briefly saying that human capacity is also critical resource for us, because we can talk about developing whatever we want, which of our exchange points do you want, which of our goods do we want, which area we want. If we don't have the right people, the right skills, to maintain them and manage them, and keep monitoring them, we are not going anywhere, because setting up is one thing, but continuing to maintain it and keep the service running, because Internet is a continuous service, we cannot succeed.
So I think fundamentally having human resource and human capacity is key, and we have to invest as much as we can in building capacity, organizing training, but not only workshop of one week. I am -- I think that's having only workshop for -- that having workshop for only week is good, for people who are already trained, who have the basics, but I think we need to go a little bit further in academy, curriculum and institution, how do we integrate the Internet culture to make sure the engineer we have today that comes from those institutions as IT engineer, as network engineer, already has the right knowledge to address this.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you, Adel, and certainly for my other panelists, we still have some time for you. If any question from the audience, it's up to you. We do have -- Adel is leaving but Adel still there. And Anne-Rachel as well. So any further questions -- there was a question for Anne-Rachel. Anne-Rachel want to respond? I want to give a chance to the audience before we close this first part of our -- okay. I see none. Then -- okay. Please.
>> ANNE-RACHEL INNE: So Ben's question was basically about the findings of your survey, IISD's survey that civil societies looking up for governments, you know, to help in country code top-level domain's management and other critical Internet resources. I think we're just -- let's say somewhat in a limbo period right now in the African region. Why? Because first, you know, around maybe, you know -- from 1995 to about 2005 these issues were hardly at the forefront of all our discussions in general except basically in the WSIS process.
At home governments started to realise that country code top-level domains, IP addresses, capacity building, were things that were important. That's also practically at the time where we started having regulators. So while civil society and maybe a little bit of private sector were involved in the beginning, we got government at one point just suddenly waking up and saying, we need to make the rules. We got regulators. Regulators started saying, we need -- we need to be the ones managing country codes top-level domains. Even now you hear them saying we need to manage all IP addresses that come into our country.
So in between a space where there was hardly, you know, any rules and things were kind of being managed as they went to now having strict rules on who should manage what. We got, really, a kind of push and pull where civil society and private sector are saying, okay, you put the rules in place now. Let's do it, but in general, you know, government would say, no, we don't want you there.
And now we are seeing the tendency to actually go to conversation between government, civil society and private sector because finally governments are realizing, you know, they can't be the only ones doing it. You know, and it's all good and nice to put the rules in place, but if actually the rules are broken from the beginning nothing will happen. So I actually can give you examples of countries where, you know, there were rules set from the beginning, and then finally, you know, they were amended and now actually the community is coming into play, and, you know, hopefully this will be the tendency that continues and, you know, that we will get to the point where we all work together towards, you know, making sound ccTLDs that can really foster development because, you know, access can be given to everybody, that pricing can be low, that, you know, content can be available. In terms of content, in fact, there's not much that I can do just because we don't -- we don't do content. We don't regulate content. We don't manage content.
One of the things that I expect from civil society, from, you know, organisations like Afralo or ECCSO and a few others who are the organisations that are working on the ground is actually to be the ones, you know, fostering that awareness to governments and to people who are actually using what we would call so-called, you know, formal community, as you said, would be considered to be the wrong TLDs to share important information from government, you know. So --
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay.
>> ANNE-RACHEL INNE: The ball is back in your court.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you very much, Anne-Rachel. We will see you around so the discussion will continue. Adel, you want to -- Adel -- oh, sorry.
>> (off microphone)
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Oh, so you have a question.
>> Where is the mic?
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Where is the mic?
>> My name is Yasmine Yarif from the Commonwealth IGF. Just a short comment to echo what Anne-Rachel is saying. We are looking at from the Commonwealth perspective trying to engage governments in as far as possible in the policy aspect and raising awareness on Internet Governance issues. I work for an NGO called ComNet, and our focus is more on ICT for development, but we are speaking to governments as an NGO. So we're sort of bottom up. (laughter)
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you. Thank you for this. Adel, you have a chance to conclude eventually, if you have any remarks.
>> ADEL GAALOUL: Yeah, maybe to add some idea about IP address problems. I think that we need to more focus on -- on spam problem, because we have many activity in Africa about how combatting spam, how to organise all the community to -- to be more reactive on spam problem. But I think we need more and more capacity-building about how to combat spam and how to set up a regulation to action plans and regulation and the capacity-building to -- to really make real network to -- to combat spam. So this is the idea. More capacity-building.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thanks, Adel. Okay. For this first panel let us say the following. That we need some policies to actually manage our ccTLDs and other critical resources, if you -- we have collaboration and partnership across the board and across borders, and also there's a need for enhancing capacity development at all levels. For this briefly I will take away and thanks again for this. Don't move on because I think the session continues and we are going to have the second part of it. Thanks again and then I'll hand over to my colleague.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you. I would have preferred to speak in French. That is my second mother language, but I am going to try to speak in English. So just I wanted to specify that we are two organisations that you have organized at this workshop, that is AfriNIC as you have heard now, and ACSIS that is the African cyber society for ICT, and we have been very glad when we -- when we have been asked to merge with AfriNIC to organise this workshop, so we have divided the workshop into two -- to be domestic and to accommodate together, so we have been, I think -- we have divide 50/50, AfriNIC and ACSIS, even if ACSIS is not so important as AfriNIC, and we have tried to be gender balanced, as you have seen. So I am very glad about that.
And as you have noted, we have not underlined from which country we come from because we are here today, the voice of Africa at all, and to find solutions for our continent. And that's why we have chosen the title "Impact of Good Governance of Human for Human System in the Development," because we don't want the Internet to be only session, but need to consider the Internet like a tool for development, for the sustainable development, a tool that we can use to have an impact on development, and you can -- we can use to make shortcuts and to join the team of the -- the that develop the country, with the possibility to go in a hurry and so like that we can win some time.
I am going to introduce the first family (off microphone) as she has left. We're going to continue with Fatimata. So Mrs. Fatimata, I'm going to try to concentrate -- (off microphone) she's working, actually. She's the head of a project is debate. She's the continent -- the national -- this project is in Senegal and she's (off microphone) ICT integration in education. She is also an (off microphone) forming organism like (off microphone) in a school (in foreign language), and she's going to -- believe in the gender so I give her the floor.
>> FATIMATA SEYE SYLLA: Thank you, Faiza. Good morning, everybody. I was supposed to talk about education, but we think it's a major issue to talk lingual issues when you talk about the Internet and access to development. Let me just tell you a few facts. Yesterday Janice said that only 12 languages represent 90% of the Web passengers, over more than 6,000 languages in the world. Africa has more than 2,000 languages, and now we're over 1 billion people in Africa. Did you also know that the Icelandic, spoken by 240,000 people, is in the Web, whereas Swahili, spoken by more than 30 million people, is not in the Web. This is in Africa. We're fighting to bridge the digital divide, but seriously, we end up taking into account the language barriers -- to fight the digital divide, and this is what's making the divide even wider when we talk about Internet.
What are the consequences? Absence of local content, reflecting of a cultural diversity, lack of competent human resources, technical human resources, and also human resources with expertise in local languages.
The other big consequences is we have less people involved in the development process of Internet government. We have less people involved in the fight to bridge the digital divide in Africa, and we have less people involved in the production of content, of local content, taking into consideration -- taking advantage of the Internet development for economic growth.
Now, what can we do within the IGF? What can Internet Governance do to change what's happening right now?
I think there is hope, opening up. We have a -- we are now following new opportunities opening up with the new gTLDs, including the (off microphone), but we have problems. Yesterday we were talking about the barriers we have in accessing to these opportunities, in taking full advantage of these new opportunities.
First of all I just said that we were lacking expertise on local languages, so we have requirements. We need technical human resources, and we also need to have access to these new opportunities -- I mean, the new gTLDs, and I can, and Rachel, as these issues (off microphone) with us as end users, and also with the private sector involved in the development of Internet in our countries, because the application cost is very high. And the process of acquiring new TLDs is very complex for our countries. And we also need the right infrastructure -- this is about access. This is about access, and I know when you talk about Internet Governance, we don't really mean to talk about access, infrastructure. We don't talk about content, but we can also talk about capacity-building. Capacity-building, education, and I think (off microphone) was right when he was telling when Fatima talks about language she can talk about education too, because it's kind of related. We don't have human resources, very competent in -- in dealing with languages, local languages, because our education is based in foreign languages.
When you talk about content in the Web, according to Internet world statistics, local languages represent only zero -- just follow me, 0.006%, whereas English and French stand for 0.6%. This indicates that we need to work further in order to be able to produce local content, we have to -- in local languages, we have to have the resources (off microphone) to do so, and if in our schools we're still dealing with foreign languages, it's normal that we don't have enough expertise in that thing.
So recommendations, of course, will go through that way, but I think this presentation was just to put a key that we need -- we need to be present on the Web and to do so we need to use our own culture, we need to preserve our own values, and we need to work through the -- with the Internet Governance to have access to the tools that will allow this to happen. Thank you.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you, Fatimata, and now I give the floor to Mr. Dawit Bekele, that is manager of the African vision of the Internet society since September, 2008. Dr. Dawit, welcome, and (off microphone) position in computer sciences for more than 12 years. He also worked around the at UNESCO and the World Bank. He is very passionate about the development of economic (off microphone) that he believes is in -- that is an important opportunity. So I give him the floor.
>> DAWIT BEKELE: Thank you, Chair. I'm happy today to talk about wireless technology in Africa because it's a technology that has changed the landscape of telecommunication and Internet in Africa and has a lot of promises for the years to come. First of all, I would like to take you back ten or relatively more years before. (off microphone) where we have a lot of African conferences where we have political leaders but also as (off microphone) told leaders were coming, and with regard to telecommunication there was something that they used to say very often. They used to say that there are more telephone leans in Manhattan or the city of Tokyo than in whole -- in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. That is less than 15 years ago. It's 10 -- 12 years ago that this saying was still valid.
But I'm happy to say that this is (off microphone) valid and things have changed a lot since then and wireless technology has a lot to do with that. To give you some figures, in 1990 there was less than 1% of Africans who had access to telephone, which means 8.6 million telephones only for a population of close to a billion. And today there are 250 million Africans, which means 25% of Africans and more have access to the telephone. This is a very major change that we don't talk very often about, because in Africa we are very much used to talk about what doesn't work but less about what is working.
Internet access, there hasn't developed as quickly as telephone access in the last decade, but it has made a lot of changes. From 2002 to 2007 there was 882% of growth for Internet access, which is, if I'm not wrong, the highest in the world. It's true we start from very low, so we still have a very low density for access, which is around 5% for the whole of Africa, which is low compared to the 22.5% for the rest of the world, but since we have a good growth rate we are hopeful that very soon we'll have Internet access rates that are comparable to the rest of the world. In fact, in many countries they already have very good access rate, like the islands like in Moriceas, where we have 35.4 and 24% of access rate, and in Morocco where the access rate is 80.1, which is really comparable to what is happening in Europe or other developed countries.
Unfortunately, the picture is not similar everywhere. There are some countries where Internet access is still very low, countries like Liberia, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone where there is only 1% access. The picture is very different in our country where things are growing very fast, where things are very slow in some other countries.
Broadband still lagging behind in Africa, but again, we have a lot of hope. Countries like Senegal and Morocco are doing really well, and some countries in east Africa like Kenya where with the arrival of many modern cables, we have a lot of hope for years to come.
Now I'm asked to talk about wireless technology and what does this have to do with Internet. Well, there are, evening, two major problems for the development of Africa with regards to connectivity. There are two major problems. These are the major international connectivity, which is really being handled by the many cables arriving at all the (off microphone) of Africa, so we have great hope in this area. The other is the last mile, and wireless is definitely the solution that will be adopted all over Africa in the coming years, and I'm sure that with all the technologies available we are going to have an explosion of Internet access, as we have had with regular voice access in the last decade.
We have a lot of -- for those of you who live in Africa, I don't think I am giving you any news, because you know that there are a lot of wireless solutions that are available to individuals and companies, like Wimite, EBO (off microphone) and really bring sometimes high bandwidth access to people around Africa. And this promises really major revolution, and I would not be surprised that in a few years, maybe in five years at IGF 2015 access won't become a major issue for Africa and we'll have many other topics that we'll talk about but not access.
But I have to admit that there are a lot of challenges with these promises. For example, the multitude of very short life technologies that require us to invest over and over on new technologies, that requires us to produce or to train our technical people over and over because of the change of technology, and also the impact on cost, because since the technologies don't stay very long, the companies that invest in those technologies will have to recover their costs quickly, which means that they have to ask the users to pay more.
There are other issues that are complex. There are licensing restrictions in some countries that are not helping the development of some of the technologies. For example, there are countries where you would need to -- licensing for WiFi, which is quite -- quite an issue. The availability of frequencies. Some of the countries are not managing correctly their frequencies, which is a scarce resource, and that has to be managed properly so that everybody benefits from it. Connectivity issues. I don't think it is really good long-time strategy to have fully wireless solution. We have to combine wireless with fiber backbones, et cetera, and for this we'll have to develop our infrastructures at local level, within the CT, but also at regional, and at the national level.
This requires a lot of investment to develop the national backbone and also to develop the interconnectivity with international cables, which brings into the scope the problem of, for example, crossborder connectivity, because many African countries are landlocked. So there are a lot of hopes, but there is also -- there are a lot of challenges for the development of wireless Internet technology in Africa, and I think that is where the Internet Governance Forum is very important, because it creates a forum to bring together the many stakeholders that need to talk. I think all of you have -- many of you have already mentioned it's very important that we collaborate together, all the stakeholders, whether it's government, regulator, private sector, civil society, will have to -- to collaborate in order to make sure that we can use those opportunities that are available to us.
Therefore, I really hope that we will have many opportunities internationally, but I think it's important that we take down these discussions at local level. We already have the East African, the central African and the West African IGAs that discuss at regional levels, but I think it's also important to have these kind of discussions at national levels so that all stakeholders can sit together and find solutions for the problem, and they can really use opportunities that are really reachable for Africa. Thank you.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you, Dr. Dawit. Just before I give the floor to discuss about the debate, just a little issue, that we have seen that Fatima and Fatimata have said that we have absence of local content, that 0.006% Africa language before French and English. She also said that we have -- we need human competent, African competent in local languages because of our education that has been (off microphone) foreign languages.
And so finally, that she said, like Mr. Adel, that we need capacity building. Mr. Dawit has noticed something very interesting. He says that when he speak about Africa, we must speak about what Africa has not than what Africa has done. So it's a good (off microphone) and after that he said that Africa has made very big progress, phones, for the telephone lines, from 1% to 25%, and with this he has made the -- turned around Africa with sometimes stories about what countries have done, and he said that perhaps with all -- with these examples, and even there is difficulties, we can hope and think that perhaps very soon Africa can make good statistics.
So I'm going to ask -- as director, I'm going to give Pierre the microphone, because we have the programme.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thanks very much. Was told actually quickly reflect on one of the issues here, which is the strategies for developing content. Content is maybe the next key concern for Africa. So what I'm going to -- I don't have a presentation per se, but I have a few ideas that I would like to air here so we actually could discuss around them.
Seems to me that we need to be reminded of things we hear, often what we've been hearing, and I remember when we were starting with information society, the key issue for.
>> People say there is no copyright in Africa, there is only a right to copy. So we keep hearing those things and we want to tackle strategies for developing content. I would like us to actually think about a few things. For instance, what are the factors contributing to Internet growth in developing countries. This is something we should think about. Also, what is the relevance of the content to local users, the ones you consider in Africa.
For me it's about the Internet industry and the question is whether we are there or not. I participated in one of the briefing sessions of the business consistency this morning. There was no Africa business there. Meaning there was no one representing African business to discuss what the business community is thinking about IGF and what contribution they should be giving.
So one of the questions we are approaching in Africa is where is the industry? Where is the Internet industry in Africa, apart from some of the cable operators that we have, most of them from foreign, you know, (off microphone) and companies. Really, where do we find the African Internet industry. We do have AfriNIC, and if I did have the chance, you tell me that although we say we are going to be lacking this IPv4, well, Africa still has plenty of these IPv4 available. I mean, we do have the resources at AfriNIC, which is not (off microphone) which means our business is not really using, is not really thriving the way it should be doing.
Now so where does Africa stand when it comes to this Internet industry? That's my question. One other thing we should bear in mind and most of the panelists that discuss about infrastructure, infrastructure, they said it, access to infrastructure does not necessarily guarantee production and availability of the content. That's a lesson we are deriving from Africa. And also besides -- I mean, we do have the potential for sharing knowledge, because -- sharing knowledge, because after all this is knowledge economy.
We also see that we aren't really reaping that possibility in Africa the way it should be done. Of course, there is an overwhelming domination of material in English and French, which is normal, but today we do have IDM, which is given as technical solution for these issues. What are we doing? Fatima said we have 2,000 languages in Africa. The question is what are the priorities? What language are we -- so we welcome them. The idea is nobody is really blocking Africa from using those.
Yes, Africa Internet is only 0.4% of the content on the Africa. Even if you take (off microphone) facilities you're hearing something like 0.2% of African contribution, which is nothing.
So how about the content we do have on the net, and what are they talking, what are they saying when Africa is concerned? I think they are promoting -- they are trying to promote some positive attitude towards Africa. We also see personal experiences being related on the Web. We have some business information, discussion Web site on crafts, crafts in Africa, tourist sites are some of the things we are seeing. So what could be our strategies and I'll be finishing in five minutes. So what could be our strategies?
I think we need to figure out what are the African comparative advantages, you know, and we need to take into consideration the sort of uniqueness that we can find in Africa. By the way there is no one Africa, there are 52 of them. I digress, there are so many things to share. So I think the next frontier for Africa, everyone, is well, develop this content, just for one or two reasons. If you read the literature out there it will tell you the next frontier for development is Africa. It's a place that holds at least 55% of the natural resources, and you name them, they are in African countries. As a younger population (off microphone) 1 billion, but 75% of them, they are under 25 years old. A younger population. And I think Africa can also embrace and is embracing the technologies. I see them using Facebook in Africa today, the younger generation, which means they just want to innovate.
So I think comparative advantage also lies in the tourism, culture in Africa is (off microphone) and party from a few places where things are happening, nothing is really being done, you know, to promote African culture.
Now, one of the strategies to do this, of course, is to really give the opportunity to small and medium size enterprises, which normally is the basis for development in Africa. It's not about big companies in Africa. It should be about small and medium size enterprise.
Now, which platform to build? We think that open platform should be the one we favor, and they are sort of sampled, samples a few place in Africa, I think South Africa, people are having their strategies on open source. For instance, we need to think about those. But I see a lack of laboratories in Africa, and that's where I see the academy issue come to the fore, and work on those that come to design, and work on application that really suits local needs.
Of course we do have obstacles. We talk about the bandwidth, you know, a strategy that we don't -- strategy we don't have in many places. We talk about human capacities. I really think that we need to work about our African languages, what are the priorities, and I spoke about the idea, and to really finish -- we're sort of refreshing a few ideas to -- I mean, as word-for-word. I think there is a need for greater international efforts, for user in a Web site development and promoting some of those -- those Web site that we do have today, which really are trying to address sort of the need for information for development. There should be policies to actually promote those. We need to support the creation and the commission of those sites.
I see that the African-American private sector if it really has to expand globally, it really needs to create regulatory and legal and also policy framework that protects security, copyright ownership of those aspects. There is a wealth of information, but largely (off microphone) in Africa unpublished. We need to really think about those, but I think African content will grow substantially. We have to build the necessary humanity source and also considering the real needs of the local users.
And lastly, I think we need to enable the youth. Youth to be trained, youth to be empowered, so that they can run ICT projects as income-generation activities, so that they can localize contents so as to convert content to local languages as ICT solutions. So these are a few words evening I should share with you. Thank you.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you. Because Pierre has two -- he's multi-lingual and (off microphone) is too and it's very interesting what you say, and I think we have all taken profit of all the new things that he has given us, and as the time is running, I think that we can give the floor -- I think 20 minutes -- no, 10 minutes, if there is some question, because we would like after the conclusion -- before the conclusion to have some suggestions from our recommended -- recommendation from the floor. So you can ask any question. Rachel has a comment, and after -- okay, Rachel.
>> ANNE-RACHEL INNE: Thank you, Chairperson. I just want to respond to Pierre, because he tends to be a little bit too bleak, for me anyway. Among all the stuff that he says, when you think about the use of languages, right now the African union is actually working in establishing African languages that can be working languages, you know, in this five subregions that we have, okay? So it may not be known by people, but that work is going on.
We have the African development -- the association for the development of education in Africa that is actually based at the African development bank right now, that is with the council of ministers of education in the African region, the ministerial took place last February in Ouagadougou, and one of the things that came up -- a group of us sent somebody to go talk to them about Unicode and some of the -- Unicode and some of the things that are done so that appropriation of the new technologies can absolutely be done, and one of the things that they're doing is working on actually a set of issues going from adult education all the way to integrating, you know, software recognition programmes to learn African languages. One of the things that the ministerial took as a decision was that dual-track education in Africa is a must, and it's something that all African countries are absolutely encouraged to start implementing.
When you take, you know, ICTs, domain names particularly, we used to have more registrars in the African region. We have four of them right now, okay? We used to have none. These are the people you go to to buy demand names. So actually some people are making money in the region, via domain names. They can sell you dot-com just like they can sell you a dot SN or dot EG or whatever you want.
We talk about preservation of cultural heritage but also making use of that actually to make money in the information society. WIPO has just accepted a gift for our heritage. When you talk about education, I have in mind right now at least four education -- higher education schools in the African region that are integrating, you know, things like the domain name system, what is it, Internet Governance, IP addresses and all of that. So the picture is not bleak. Maybe we're not selling our own, you know, achievements also the right way, and I really do think that this deserves to be known, you know, so we can talk about it more, if you wish.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you, Anne-Rachel. And let me call for -- he has the power. Okay.
>> This is my first time in this type of a forum, so I think --
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Can you introduce yourself, please.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Frank Charles Osafo, and I'm on Verecloud. I'll be on the panel in the future for cloud computers so I'll do more of an introduction. But what I'm impressed with, I'm impressed with the depth and diversity of knowledge that has been coming out from the bench, and I'm glad to hear some of the great things that are being done in Africa. One thing, from what I'm hearing, Africa, we are not actually using our strength. I think some of our strengths -- because I heard that we need to develop our language. That's natural, we have to develop our languages, but Africa, like India, we were colonized, so one of the things that Africa has going for us, most of the countries speak English and they speak French.
Why -- the question that we should ask ourselves (off microphone) we are not developing a section -- why isn't Google coming from Africa? Why is it coming from the United States? Why isn't all Africans using an email address that countries based in Africa. So to speak, rather than sitting here and saying we need to local ease ourselves, why don't you use -- localize ourselves, there are lots of lots of Africans who are competitive and can do things globally.
So for instance, you see ministers for the government, running to them and they are handing out their cards and their email addresses are Yahoo.com, and what have you. So to me, what I'm saying to Africans, don't sit here and be talking about your heritage. You know, that's great because the schools should be doing that. I hear some people are developing the African language. The question is, you also need to be able to sell them, so you can't sell the languages to outside the individual boundaries, but if you were to develop a section, an email, I know the question will be why do we want to develop one, Google has one. The Chinese don't think that way. They are developing BYDU, and why? Because BYDU can write the language in Chinese.
That's not the issue. The issue is that the African governments can dictate and use their purchasing power and say, from now, any minister, anybody in Africa when you use an email address, the email address should be something Africa.com. I don't care what it is. See, the problem, where we have to watch ourselves is if a company is in Ghana or Senegal, develop -- or Nigeria, will the companies support that. What I'm saying is use our strengths to become a player. If you're developing content, you want to develop content that all -- they use. We have English, we have French, we speak different languages, we have the talent, so therefore there's no reason why the development of content cannot be based by the producer being based in Africa. Thank you.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Okay. He's here, and there, there and there.
>> It's a question to the speaker.
>> He's here.
>> Because the question is to him.
>> The question is for you. (laughter).
>> In fact, you made me a little bit jealous when you gave examples of African countries that you consider good examples, you did not mention Tunisia and I think it should be done since it has always been ranked first in the African countries by international standards. So do you have reason for that?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much. My name is Gloria, I'm from Uganda. I work with ICT. I just wanted to give a brief content that there is local content. There are a number of initiatives that are happening, (off microphone). My country, we have so many that there right now. What the government is doing is bring them all together so we are creating a platform for them. So it's not that we are not there. They are there. We lack awareness and we'd like to thank you for the initiative that you are doing in our country. Thank you very much.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: There is somebody here --
>> Thank you, my name is (off microphone) and I work for (off microphone) Innovation Programme in Lithuania. You are mentioning a lot of right things and I think more focusing on the supply side, I mean, the access infrastructure, the (off microphone). But I think (off microphone) our lack of questions and discussions are the blend, because I feel that the experience that we have in that is (off microphone) if they (off microphone) the services will be there, the content will be there. Everybody will take it and use it and build it. But it's not happening this way. So I wondered what are your thoughts about the people that will actually use this, the equal access, make sure the disadvantaged groups also benefit from Internet. What are your thoughts? Thank you very much.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Okay. Just some suggestions about objectivity, but that's -- I doubt that this AfriNIC (off microphone) place around here. I suggest to ask them if (off microphone) spot about site trainings to some registrars. I don't know, but I think (off microphone) on their Web site. See if there is -- African association identify that -- I think there's more information with that. (audio difficulties)
>> Thank you very much. I just want to comment, and then maybe a couple questions very quickly. First of all, I don't share the idea of the -- comments about what's happening in Africa. So I shared my views with Anne. I think what's happening is so much work is happening and no one is actually reporting what's happening. There's no publicity, no awareness, but there are actually a lot of good works happening. But my comments (off microphone) forward of the following. Perhaps we should look at doing something different, some innovation, some creativity, rather than trying to do the same thing and then expecting a different outcome, which will not happen. So what do I mean by that? Perhaps we should tap on the African community outside Africa, for example, the African (off microphone), so there are a lot of Africans who live in the States or other countries, maybe we can work with them.
I'm from Somalia, there are a lot of (off microphone) we work with them. But (off microphone) our universities within Africa, so they can have conferences, seminars, work together. But more importantly we have to create incentive. Why do people do something? Because there has to be some incentive for them to do it. So perhaps by encouraging our students, by giving them some competitions, that those who win perhaps get something, that might encourage some creativity.
And lastly is perhaps the supply. The more we supply, perhaps you can create demand. There is content out there. Then people will find it and they will use it. And lastly, I guess we need to come up with some small projects that are doable, so we have some (off microphone) on the board, rather than thinking about the big ones that might not do them. Thank you very much.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Chairperson, good morning. I'm (off microphone) I work for open access programme and we work with university libraries in 23 African countries to help to disseminate local research information and open access on-line journals and open access repositories, and my question is maybe it's really high time for national policy makers to think about national policies and disseminate local research information, because if we want to initiate long-term goals we need to have policies, so open access to research (off microphone) because there's a lot of research results. It's just not as available and accessible and they don't have the effects they might have. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you, and thanks to the panel. I think it was a very informative session that I attended today. My name is Obed, I'm from South Africa. I'm a member of Parliament. I also serve in the Global Centre for the ICT in Parliament, obviously the structure that is looking at taking advantage of the technology (off microphone) taking advantage of technology and advancement within the mandates of public participation.
So -- but my question now, it's around the issues of -- I think I've hit access, content, language, connectivity, infrastructure, et cetera. However, when we look at the statistics country by country you will then realise that not everybody has access to laptops or computers or personal computers, and then, for example, inside Africa, out of a population of 15 million we only have 5 million Internet users. For the 5 million are completely excluded because they don't have access. They depend on the Internet cafes somewhere in the corner in their own areas being and so for if you want to look at the figure itself, (off microphone) when you look at the Africans in that 5 million you find that there are less than half a million that have Internet access. It's mainly (off microphone) groups that have the particular access. So the issues are for the ability in terms of access. Access in terms of connectivity -- access in terms of these instruments (audio difficulties) 600 million Africans have (off microphone) population. (off microphone) question of accessibility. I'm not sure some aspects of (off microphone) and I'm not fully convinced that mobile can carry as much content as that (off microphone) given some kind of (off microphone) information, or rather is it (off microphone) or what.
My last question I've got (off microphone) mobile infrastructure, broadband and wireless (audio difficulties) and then communications (off microphone) environment that has access (off microphone) who could also look at that (off microphone) to enable them to access. Thank you.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: Thank you. Okay. We are going to conclude. Just Fatimata, if you have (off microphone) very quickly and after we are complete.
>> Thank you, Madam Chair. I think I would just like to react to the -- the issue related to the language. I think Charles talked about African strength, that we should use our strength to move forward. And I agree. I completely agree with you, but we're just concerned about participation, involvement of more people. And as you know, in Africa, the illiteracy race is very high. And if you want to involve more people I think you have to use their languages. And of course we need to use the human -- actual human resources we have in Africa, and even in the (off microphone) someone said, and I think we should be able to count on you too as a resource, whether you're inside or outside Africa. We need to raise awareness among adults. We know that since 2002 -- since 2000 the illiteracy rate is going down, of course, because of the UNBGA programme and of course the UNESCO programme for all. The illiteracy rate is going down, but among adults it's still high. Those people are valuable resources in Africa, and we need their work, we need the knowledge, we need the experience to develop content, to develop local content in Africa, to preserve our cultural values and preserve our diversity. I think that's the main point -- that's why we need to strategize to produce local contents. Of course, if you want to have, for example, (off microphone) we need to use Internet Governance issues to utilize it to make this happen. And the content has to improve.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you, Fatimata.
>> Thank you. Well, for Tunisia I'm sorry but I have to stop at 3:00. Otherwise I think Tunisia is not very far from that position. I think I used data from ITU, and Morocco has been doing rather well with broadband, for instance, in the last few years. Even though I know that Tunisia was one of the three countries to have Internet in Africa, but now Morocco is doing a little better, but still (off microphone) is well-placed. It seems like I have to stop somewhere.
There was a question on -- a lot of comments on content and languages. I'm really glad that these issues came up in the talk in our discussions. For a very long time I have been an advocate of African local languages development and content development, and sometimes it seemed (off microphone) because not many people seem interested. But now it looks like people are interested, and maybe it's probably because people realise there is more and more access and now we have to have local and relevant content. And I agree with many of the people who spoke today, that this is the next frontier. This is something where we have to work on in the coming years. And I think it's a very good opportunity for our entrepreneurs who have the possibility to create and to really improve their economy, and I think that's a major challenge. Well, I think I can -- I can stop here. Thank you.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Because of the time, and the other panelists are coming, just to conclude and I give the floor to Mr. Pierre just I want to add something. We have got to (off microphone) all of Africa and I think the solution is maybe the cooperation between the countries of Africa. We say always it but we don't do it, because when you discovered two months ago, three months ago, when the countries am cases they always make cooperation with other countries. Never they take into account the other countries in Africa, because we all of us have in some -- in some field, we have practices, but I think here we don't really link together. We just speak about linking. It's only words, we never do it really. But perhaps we have to recommend that we have to make cooperation, not only (off microphone), it's impossible because we need the (off microphone) perhaps it will be a recommendation so we can be together, all together, and we can make profit from each other. And the end of the end is Mr. Pierre.
>> PIERRE DANDJINOU: I hope I'm not the end anyway. Thanks. You put it clearly, it's about collaboration, and I can't say more than that. I just want to thank all of you for coming and sharing your views, and we are going to take many things away. I heard about giving identity to users, heard about, you know, the Internet industry in Africa, about capacity (off microphone) how we need to tap into diaspora as well. We need collaboration and -- by corporations. So thanks very much for coming and we will see you around to continue discussion. Thanks.
>> FAIZA AZZOUZ: Thank you. Just announcement, because they asked us to invite you very cordially at their open forum on Arabic content facing the future on Internet. Room 1 at 2:00 this afternoon. Thank you very much.
- Parent Category: IGF 2010