IGF 2018 WS #93 Towards Digital inclusion in Africa- )Barriers and Opportuni

Subtheme(s): 

Organizer 1: Government, African Group
Organizer 2: Government, African Group
Organizer 3: Government, African Group
Organizer 4: ,

The workshop will be addressing the position of Africa as a continent in the digital inclusion world; it will be discussing the main barriers facing Africa for bridging the digital divid between Africa and the rest of the world. The workshop will also tackle how digitization in Africa can facilitate solving local issues and allow better serving of its citizens at all levels- social and economic levels.it will provide an open dialog to share success stories and initiatives done related to African Information Development.

Format: 

Round Table - 60 Min

Interventions: 

The workshop will include speakers from various backgrounds in order to provide diverse inputs and opinion. The speakers will come from different countries to share different expertise and knowledge.

Diversity: 

Speakers represent different organizations including international organizations working in international development, government entities concerned with information technology and communication, African institutions working in the field of ICT from a regional perspective. Gender balance is taken into consideration in selecting the speakers for the workshop. The proposed speakers represent geographical, gender and multi-stakeholders (government, international organizations, independent consultant, private sector, etc.

Information and communication technologies continue to have a positive impact on all aspects of contemporary age, requiring Governments, institutions and stakeholders to be linked to each other through an advanced network involving the whole world. That's why; we need to have Digital Empowerment to enrich the ability to use the wealth of resources in computing and the Internet to learn, communicate, innovate, and enhance wealth. Digital empowerment is conducive to Digital inclusion and accessibility by means of reaching out to those people and helping them develop their digital capabilities, and improving their access to services. The vision of digital inclusion embedded in the ‘Declaration of Principles’ presented at the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, December 2003. This vision implies that everyone in the world has to have equal access to the knowledge and information whenever needed to make life easier. In Africa, there is over a billion populations has the lowest overall use of information technologies among inhabited continents. On the other hand, Africa is striving actively to participate in the global arena and embrace appropriate technologies to get best services. People in Africa are suffering from Digital divide. Digital divide is a concept that is gaining increasing attention in the context of development of ICT. The tremendous disparity regarding technology accessibility between those with access to and skills of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and those without such access or skills became an obstacle that need to be dissolved. Africa is working to implement numerous projects to build huge infrastructure for ICT. Most of the issues faced by the continent will be solved through the use of technology; that must be deeply implemented in government procedures. Africa should and must take advantage of this revolution and catch up to the rest of the world in terms of E Governance we need to transform our economies using ICT's. The main aim of this workshop is to address the challenges facing Africa's quest to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world and as well the opportunities to speed up the continent's entry into the Information age. The work shop will be an arena to facilitate exchange of good practices and success stories between different African nations by bringing up different stakeholders (government, development agencies, regional and international organizations, private sector to have an open dialog and debate on relevant issues. The workshop will be working on answering the following questions: 1. What polices strategies and regulations needed to facilitate digital inclusion and accessibility in African nations? 2. The role of stakeholders (Government, Development agencies, regional and international organizations, private sector, NGO's) in facilitating digital inclusion and access? 3. What are mechanisms required for bridging the digital divide Africa is facing? 4. What should be done to further unleash ICTs potential economic and societal benefits? 5. How can technology help in facing crisis and disasters in Africa? 6. In what ways can new technologies be applied to early warning systems in Africa? 7. What policies are needed to expand the use of grievance redress mechanisms in Africa?

Discussion Facilitation: 

Speakers will present their speech/presentations in 5 minutes (each). Presentations/speeches will be followed by an open discussion where participants are welcomed to comment and interact in the workshop (15 min.) The workshop will be concluded by a wrap up covering the key questions raised during the workshop (5 min).

Online Participation: 

Online participation will be available during the workshop to enable participants from different countries who did not have the opportunity to participate in person in IGF 2018 to engage in the discussions and share their views about the topic. Remote participants are encouraged to send their questions/comments and the speakers will respond and interact accordingly. They will have the opportunity to interact on an equal basis with those from in-room participants

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678