IGF 2019 WS #38 Access to affordable internet : key to digital evolution

Organizer 1: KWABENA ERIC AGBOZO, Defence Against ADS Poverty and Underdevelopment (DAAPU) NGO Ghana
Organizer 2: ,

Speaker 1: KWABENA ERIC AGBOZO, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Clara Pinkrah-Sam, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 3: Daniel Abunu, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 4: Sowah Francis Adjetey, Civil Society, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

1. What factors should be considered when seeking to understand and tackle affordability issues , and how might improvement be made?

2. How can we better utilize primary and secondary schools and tertiary educational facilities to promote and to deliver on digital literacy to their communities? (Though Government of Ghana has recognized this need to some extent), how do we deepen the knowledge of the general population, the elderly,teachers, students and parents alike to fully accept the new era of Digital Literacy (ICT) as the bed rock of modern education and sustainable job opportunities ?

3.How do we best equip the workforce of the 21st century with the right skills to take advantage of the new employment opportunities that will result from digital transformation? How do we ensure that these skills and employment opportunities are equitable to all and is equipped to participate on an equal footing?

4.How would prioritizing and implementing demand-side initiatives stimulate broadband use and digital literacy , skills development and lead to job creation avenues, economic and social development? And how can digital literacy be streamlined across all sectors of the economy ? i.e. using the internet to control workers absenteeism , sending weather and possible disaster updates to farmers and coastal land dwellers, disease monitoring, data collection and capturing etc.

5.How would prioritizing closing the gender gap by building and expanding on existing efforts introduce girls to technology beyond coding and advance their digital skills and economic development?

6. Would expanding public access opportunities to Community Internet Centers (CICs), libraries and schools contribute to universal digital inclusion? And how would you assess the benefits of the passage of the "Right To Information Bill 2019" in relation to Digital Inclusion ,digital skills, innovation ,job opportunities and socio-economic development?.

Relevance to Theme: The six key policy questions have direct relevance to the theme of the proposed workshop session ,"Digital Inclusion" . Digital Inclusion according to IGF is defined as "the term that encompasses a broad sector of key internet governance issues " It further affirms that "Digital Inclusion track aims to provide a framework for accessing and considering the various elements and policies which can improve access to equitable opportunities in the digital age"

In line with this IGF definition of Digital Inclusion , it is easier to appreciate what the propose session seek to achieve . It targets all the elements that feed into creating access to information by the broader population (policies,awareness,media engagements,access, affordability etc) , and considers the involvement of key deprived and marginalized groups:i.e. the urban slum dwellers,Person With Disabilities (PWDs),youth,(girls and women greatly ) in the informal sector i,e, female porters (Kayayes). seamstresses, chop bar operators, hairdressers petty traders etc. Above all, it further seek to build and strengthen capacity and highlight on relevant policy issues that reflect on improving access to equitable opportunities in the digital age ,all to the benefit of improving on Digital Inclusion and related factors .

Relevance to Internet Governance: The proposed session which is based on six well thought out policy questions has the following relevance to the mandate of IGF.
Policy Question 1: This policy question expand on issues of tackling considerable factors on understanding and dealing with internet affordability.

It is a mandate of the Internet Governance fraternity to facilitate discourse between bodies dealing with different cross-cutting international public policy regarding internet.

By this policy question,the session seeks to explore opportunities that will tap into the ideas of our broad base organic participants on international and national public policies in relation to internet.This will generate internet best practices,approaches and strategies and share opportunities and throw more light on challenges that inhibit internet affordability.and outline simple steps of how improvement can be made.

Policy Question 2: The policy question which relates to utilizing formal education structures and curriculum to promote and deliver on digital literacy is in direct correlation with IGF mandate to work with key stakeholders" in proposing ways and means to accelerate the availability and affordability of the internet in developing world"

Ghana, being one of these developing worlds would stand a great chance in improving on internet accessibility and affordability by making digital literacy a major component of the formal educational structure by making information technology (IT) assume a status of prominence in the curriculum. When this is done , not only will more people especially youth and teachers access an affordable internet , but will also lead to geographical inclusion and open the digital flood gate to the youth (greatly) and create equal footing access to affordable internet that build and sharpen skills adequate for digital innovation ,job creation ,economic and social development. right at the community gate.

Policy Question 3: This policy question explores into how to equip the modern man(women and girls included) /workforce with the right skills and employment opportunities in global south, Ghana included.

Again IGF and other internet governance apparatus has the mandate to "advise all stakeholders in proposing ways and means to accelerate the availability and affordability of the internet in the developing world"

The intent of this policy question is to stimulate stakeholders discourse that would lead to understanding the role and opportunities available to stakeholders in Ghana and across the globe and to expand on the benefits of digital literacy to the modern working force.It will also highlight on best internet practices and recommend approaches workable to the Ghanaian internet ecosystem.

Policy Question 4: This policy question explore on prioritizing and implementing demand side-initiative and its positive effects on broad band use ,digital literacy and skills development ,innovation, job creation ,economic and social development.

The IGF particularly and other stakeholders has a core operational principles that centers on : Open , transparent , Inclusive, bottom - up , multi-stakeholders and non-commercial.

This session would reflect the principles of IGF in ensuring issues are assembled from all stakeholder communities (local content) to influence discussion content and outcomes in relation to needs assessment on prioritizing and implementing demand side-initiatives. It will also assess the current demand -driven trends and point out simple mechanisms that will need to be added or subtracted to get the expected impact in revolutionizing the internet front..

Policy Question 5:This policy question examines how closing gender gaps by building on existing efforts can advance their technical skills and enhance their economic and social development indicators.

Again, the IGF definition of Digital Inclusion is described as "a term that encompasses a broad sector of internet governance issues." However, a huge digital inclusion gap exists between men and women.

It is one of the objectives of this session to highlight on the need for all sector policies on internet to have ambitious but implementable gender gap inclusion..It will also study the current overview of the internet in relation to gender and point out challenges,opportunities and recommend the way forward for bridging identified internet and digital divide.

Policy Question 6:The final policy question argues for the expansion of public access opportunities to the internet at community levels and its contributing impact on universal digital inclusion.

It is a prominent mandate of the IGF and its chain of governance community to "advise all stakeholders in proposing ways and means to accelerate the availability and affordability of internet in the developing world"

Ghana as a developing world must put systems in place to advance this IGF mandate. This policy statement will seek to dig deeper on the benefits of expanding public internet availability and affordability at key community public places as Community Information Centers (CICs), libraries and schools. And will briefly identify the reality , challenges, opportunities and the way forward.. It will also look briefly at the recently passed "Right To Information Bill 2019" and find out internet policy relevance and opportunities in advancing the internet and digital inclusion, digital divide targets

Format: 

Break-out Group Discussions - Round Tables - 90 Min

Description: There would be 4 main segmented sessions in 90 minutes .
The first session is in 2 parts :

1A. Event opening and purpose of workshop by organizers , solidarity messages delivered by key partners i.e, Expert community, CSOs, Persons With Disability, private sector, IGF secretariat(online or onsite,(10 minutes)

A presentation on the A4AI's Ghana's Performance on the 2018 Affordability Drivers Index by the Ghana Deputy Representative of Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI) Mrs. Clara Pinkra-Sam ,(5 minutes)

Key note address &formal launching of the workshop (to be delivered and performed by the Minister of Communication) (5 MINUTES) ,

followed by Questions and Answers by audience including online participants (5 minutes) and moderated by Mr. Daniel Abunu , CEO, ZroNet Africa

1B. Media engagement with Presenter , Organizers, Minister Of Communication and selected participants drawn from youth (Mostly female students), Persons With Disabilities ( represented by the President of Amputees Football Federation of Africa and the recent -past National Coordinator for ACSIS, Ghana ), Private Sector (Internet Service Providers), gender (women from the informal sector i.e. representatives of seamstresses , hairdressers, female porters (Kayayes) ,traders, online participants (15 minutes.)

Second section: Round table plenary,each group with a moderator each (and will include the A4AI Coordinator for Africa Region, CEO of ZroNet Africa, Workshop Organizer , session rapporteur, Internet Service Providers and the President of Amputees Football Federation of Africa to simplify issues, and assist groups to organize summary of outcomes of their brainstorming session for a brief presentation. (each group shall discuss one policy question ) (mixed groups)(15 minutes)
Groups presentation on brainstorming session. Q & A (10 minutes)

Third ,establishment of a core working group to produce communique and planed programme to follow-up on engagements with all key stakeholders beyond the purview of the workshop.;.15 minutes -Moderated by workshop organizers (Mr. Eric Kwabena Agbozo , Founder and CEO ,Defence Against AIDS Poverty ad Underdevelopment (DAAPU)

Fourth ,Wrap up / sharing communique with larger group( summary of events and closing) 5 minutes (by session rapporteur, Miss Priscilla Duodu,,Prograrmme Officer at DAAPU in-charge of Internet Governance and related issues. )

Fifth ,Networking : (5 minutes) by All

Expected Outcomes: SESSION ! A : It hopes to inform participants about internet governance in relation to internet affordability indicators by setting the workshop pace with the A4AI :"Ghana`s Performance on the 2018 Affordability Drivers Index~ with links to Digital literacy, the reality, opportunities, challenges and the way out.

SESSION 1 B: Would provide the media the opportunity to ask the hard questions on issues raised, gaps identified , opportunities shared , timelines ,indicators and implementable plans in relation to digital inclusiveness and digital literacy.
This will also afford the greater populace of Ghanaians to learn from discussion (awareness creation on internet) outcomes whilst creating national and international visibility for the platform.

SESSION 2: This is a brain storming session that intends to talk to the agreed policy questions and wind into finding strategies to improve internet access and affordability that leads to digital inclusion and literacy vis-a-vis internet opportunities for skills building and sharpening , internet innovations, job creation, economic and social development as well as boosting knowledge levels of the general local and international populace, students, parents ,the elderly, informal sector , teachers and PWDs. The discussions will touch on the role of the "Right To Information Bill" and assess how it would assist in deepening access to information , the use of the internet and expand on freedom of speech.
It will also assess demand -driven internet, skills building for local content .i.e. local languages, symbols (adinkra/emblems signs),names,and project local and community based terminologies and jargon i.e. E-Fishing, E-Farming etc. and will reiterate the 3 Rs (Repackage , Re-purpose and Re-prioritize) .
It will also drum home the issues of limited space and high cost of infrastructure development and expand the need for virtual environment learning over expensive infrastructural edifices.

SESSIONS 3 and 4 : These sessions will give birth to a Working Group that will generate a communique from the sessions that will seek to address issues of digital inclusion and literacy and identify the general overview of the internet ecosystem of the country, the gaps, challenges as the huge gaps the exist between the haves and the have not , lack of access to information and loss of opportunities for jobs . And will assess the opportunities that exists and the way forward and shall provide recommendations.

SESSION 5 : NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDING: All multi stakeholder groupings will deepen relationship towards building unified internet governance front in the attainment of digital inclusion beyond the workshop sessions .And participants will think through how to streamline internet access across the sectors of economy and use it as a monitoring tool and critical information dissemination mechanisms .

Onsite Moderator: 

Makwakwa Onica, Civil Society, African Group

Online Moderator: 

Arsene Tungali, Civil Society, African Group

Rapporteur: 

Priscilla Duodu, Civil Society, African Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

The workshop has strategically been broken down into strategic sessions. Each of the five key components has duly recognized all stakeholders and participants and has adequately provided tried , tested and proven mechanisms that incorporates the active participation of all participants onsite and online. The purpose is to generate organic ideas relying on IGFs core principles : bottom-up, open and transparent, multi-stakeholders, Non-commercial and inclusive approach.

Online Participation: 

In our bid to get the youth ( and a broad base geography) to be deeply involved with the process, we hope to rely on the services of one of IGFs several online standby youth volunteers. In this respect communication is underway between us and Mr. Arsene Tungali of DRC,, Goma City. Mr. Arsene has expertise in Internet Governance , Internet Freedom,DNS Privacy and member of ISOC.
With his immense understanding in internet governance and related fields we are confident he is able to work out a mechanism with the IGF secretariat necessary in supporting the successful utilization of the official online participation tool.
We would also check for availability of remote participation hub been planned by the internet community within the region or locality and affiliate with the platform.

Proposed Additional Tools: Social Media: The workshop hopes to employ the services of all available social mediums in order to transmit information and draw inputs from all interested individuals and organizations. Hence Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , WhattsApp,Skype and all other medium will be targeted and will work in consultation and support of the IGF Secretariat and the designated online moderator .
Live streaming from the workshop venue ( World Bank ,Country Office) will add to the opportunities for reaching mass internet people for their selective contribution(s)and sensitization via the medium.
We will also identify public internet hubs for partnership and airing .

SDGs: 

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions