The AU Open Forum aims at discussing accomplishments of the African IGF 2019 in relation to digital inclusion. The Forum will focus on the Internet Governance Capacity Building activities of the AU-EU Project entitled Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA), which deals with capacity building for digital inclusion at the national, sub-regional and regional levels.
Makane Faye, African IGF Secretariat; Halime Assadya Ali, Chair African IGF Organizing Committee, Chad; Adil Sulieman, African Union Commission; Margaret Nyambura, PRIDA; and Mary Uduma, African IGF-MAG
Salyou Fanny, Cote d'Ivoire
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The African Union in cooperation with the European Union is implementing since the beginning of 2019 the Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA) aimed at building capacity of various stakeholders for digital inclusion at the national, regional, continental and global levels. What is the philosophy and Vision of this project? What are the milestones and the concrete outputs of the project, if any? Did the project reach its objectives and what are the next steps?
On the African IGF 2019
The following positive elements were widely acknowledge by participants: high profile opening and closing ceremony; large number of participants; hosting of the first African Youth Forum and active engagement of youth (62%) which outnumbered by far the other age groups; hosting of a caucus of elders, delivering of an African IGF Award. Participants recommended that this trend in supporting youth be escalated in the next African IGFs and that the forums continue to be opened and closed by very high level officials and hosted in 5 stars hotels.
On the other hand, many participants questioned the low number of female participants (22%). Also some wondered if the African IGF had a policy in favor of the disabled and why its website did not include tools for the blind. The secretariat promised to consult with some of the disabled leaders in order to craft guidelines on access for the disabled. One participant provided information on dot Africa implementation.
One unanimous observation was the need for IGF to make available interpreters in English and French to be hired by session organizers to make sure that the diversity and language dimensions are adhered to in line with the IGF principles, hence making better use of time allocated and available intellectual resources.
Need to take into account the situation of the disable in the African IGF process and on the use of its website and in the PRIDA strategy and outputs.
Need to increase women participation in IG process and sustain the trend in youth involvement.
Empowering policymakers, diplomats and legislators to be able to take full part in the IG process, to understand IG policy issues and enact the right policies and laws.
Over 200 participants took part in the Forum, including three Ministers and over 20 Parliamentarians.
Gender issues were discussed by several participants who raised concern on the low level of women participants in the 8th African IGF held in Ndjamena, Chad from 10-12 September 2019. One suggestion was to make mandatory inclusion of at least one women in any delegation the African IGF. Another was to promote application of females while looking for fellows to take part in the African IGF. It was also suggested to reserve a quota for women when fellowships are available and one selecting candidates.
The following outputs are posted on: www.afigf.africa:
- Facts and Figures - The African Internet Governance Forum 2019
- PRIDA Internet Governance Implementation Strategy and Planned Activities
- Report of the African Union Open Forum 2019