IGF 2018 WS #44 Mainstreaming Policymakers into Internet Governance Dialogue

Organizer 1: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 2: Government, African Group
Organizer 3: Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 1: Titi Takinsanmi, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 2: BRIAN TSHUMA, Government, African Group
Speaker 3: Chukwuemeka Ujam, Government, African Group
Speaker 4: Aicha Jeridi, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 5: Owono Julie, Civil Society, African Group

Although Internet Governance is supposed to a multi-stakeholder process with groups such as the private sector, civil society, government and academia amongst others participating, this reality is not the case every time in practice. Government representatives and policy makers are usually under-represented during Internet Governance processes. This situation translates to numerous Internet governance processes ending at discussion level and never really transitioning to tangible policy outcomes which benefit an open, healthy and accessible Internet.
All over the world and also in Africa, despite the numerous Internet Governance processes and mechanisms all year round, many laws and policies which hurt Internet Governance ideals such as access, privacy and security are being passed by policy makers. A big part of this situation is as a result of these policy makers being left out of Internet Governance processes.
At IGF 2017 in Geneva, I attended a number of workshops where in response to several laws and policies hurting Internet Governance ideals being identified, workshop participants asked themselves the question, “How many government policy makers are here attending this workshop?” The answer was often none.
This workshop proposal seeks to kick-start the conversation about the role of policy makers as important members of the Internet Governance multi-stakeholder model.

Format: 

Panel - 90 Min

Interventions: 

Titi Akinsanmi: With previous work experience in civil society and academia, Titi is the Head, Government Relations and Public Policy Google, Africa. Titi will share insights into her work as a private sector member of the Internet Governance multi-stakeholder model. In particular, she will share how her daily working with government policy makers is crucial in ensuring that the Internet is free, open and accessible in Africa.

Brian Tshuma: Brian is an inaugural coordinating committee member of the Zimbabwe Internet Governance Forum, and serving his second 5 year term in the Zimbabwean Parliament, working in the Media Committee which deals with Internet governance. He holds the following degrees, Bachelors' degree of Laws, BSc degree in Sociology (University of Zimbabwe), Master of Public Sector Management (Africa University in Zimbabwe) and Master of Laws- Mercantile Law (Stellenbosch University in South Africa). He is currently enrolled for an MPhil degree in Monitoring and Evaluation Methods specializing in Internet Governance. Brian will bring his experience in policy making in the fields related to Internet Governance to shed light on how more policy makers can be mainstreamed into Internet Governance process.

Chukwuemeka Ujam: With a PhD in Biometrics and Security at the University of Kent United Kingdom, Chukwuemeka Ujam is the Vice-Chairman of the Telecommunications Committee in the Nigerian House of Representatives (Lower House of Parliament). Prior to public service he has had extensive private sector experience including positions as Security Technical Architect at Metropolitan Police Service United Kingdom; Lead Technical Design Authority and Technical Architect at Atos Origin United Kingdom and Senior Technical Designer at British Telecom Global Services. Working with a coalition of civil society and private sector partners, he sponsored the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, a bill which protects an open and free Internet in Nigeria, and Nigeria’s equivalent to Brazil’s Marco Civil da Internet. The Digital Rights and Freedom Bill has successfully passed through the lower and upper houses of parliament and now only requires presidential assent to become law. Honourable Ujam will be sharing his experience of working with other stakeholders in the Internet Governance Multi-stakeholder model (including civil society and private sector) in working for an open, free and healthy Internet.

Julie Owono: Julie Owono is a lawyer and the Executive Director of Internet Without Borders, an organisation defending digital rights, and an open Internet for all. She often publishes op-eds in the International press, and is a regular TV expert on various international media, including France 24, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Julie will share her experiences as a notable civil society leader on Internet Governance in Africa, working with other Internet Governance multi-stakeholder partners to ensure an open, free and healthy Internet.

Aicha Jeridi: Based in Tunisia, Aicha is the North Africa Regional Coordinator for the African Civil Society on the Information Society. Aicha will share best practices for civil society mobilizing with other Internet governance stakeholders to ensure an open, healthy and free Internet.

Diversity: 

1. Gender Diversity: My session speakers include 2 men (Chukwuemeka Ujam, Brian Tshuma) and 3 women (Titi Akinsanmi, Julie Owono and Aicha Jeridi).

2. Geography: My session speakers represent many different geographical regions in Africa: Titi Akinsanmi, Chukwuemeka Ujam (West Africa), Brian Tshuma (Southern Africa), Julie Owono (Central Africa) and Aicha Jeridi (North Africa)

3. Stakeholder group and Policy perspectives: My session speakers represent diverse Internet Governance groups and perspectives. Titi Akinsanmi (Private sector/Technology company), Brian Tshuma and Chukwuemeka Ujam (Government/Policy Maker), Julie Owono and Aicha Jeridi (Civil Society). As reflected in the interventions section also, Brian Tshuma and Chukwuemeka Ujam have academia experience.

1. Welcome participants and Introduction of speakers
2. Understanding the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance
3. Understanding the role of government policy makers within this model
4. Fashioning out ways of expanding government policy makers participation in Internet governance towards contributing to an open and free Internet
5. Questions and feedback from participants

Discussion Facilitation: 

1. Welcome participants and Introduction of speakers (5 minutes)
The onsite moderator will allow the speakers to briefly introduce themselves.

2. Understanding the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance (15 minutes)
All speakers will have 3 minutes each to share their insights and real life experiences on the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance

3. Understanding the role of government policy makers within this model (15 minutes)
All speakers will have 3 minutes to share their insights and real life experiences on this theme.

4. Fashioning out ways of expanding government policy makers participation in Internet governance towards contributing to an open and free Internet (19 minutes)
All speakers will have 3 minutes to share their insights and real life experiences on this theme. However, Brian Tshuma and Chukwuemeka Ujam who are government policy makers will have 5 minutes each.

5. Questions and feedback from participants (30 minutes)
30 minutes will be allocated for questions and feedback from the onsite and remote audience. This will take the format of 10 minutes after each discussion in 2,3 and 4 above

6. Closing remarks by speakers and audience (6 minutes)

Online Participation: 

We plan to implement remote participation using Zoom, a remote meeting solution provided by Zoom Communications or any other technology capabilities provided by the IGF secretariat. The Onsite moderator will work with the Online Moderator to ensure that remote participants participate actively in the workshop. In partnership with Google (who are represented with a Speaker), Paradigm Initiative's offices in Lagos, Abuja, Kano (Nigeria), Yaounde (Cameroon) and Nairobi (Kenya) will serve as remote hubs for the meeting. The online moderator is trained and online attendees will have a separate queue and microphone.