The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Good morning. Bonjour. I bring you great things from Katowice, Poland.
>> We all live in a digital world. We all need it to be open and safe. We all want to trust.
>> And to be trusted.
>> We all despise control.
>> And desire freedom.
>> We are all united.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Bonjour. I bring you good things from Katowice, Poland, where we've converged for this year's annual Internet Governance Forum with a panel of distinguished persons. We're going to discuss issues of control of the Internet in light with the COVID‑19 pandemic. Before we dive into this conversation, I want to let my panelists introduce themselves and their affiliations and how they're best qualified to speak on this subject. Over to you.
>> ADISA: Good morning, everyone. It's a pleasure to welcome you to Katowice today. My name is Adisa. I am the President of the International Youth Special Interest Group. And happy to be here today. Thank you very much. I'm looking forward to a conversation.
>> Hi, everyone. Good afternoon, good morning, good evening. Depending where on the world you're listening to us. I'm part of the Internet Society Special Interest Group. I'm excited to be part of this session and share with you some of the learning from our parts of the world. Thank you.
>> Good morning to you all. My name is Enusan. I am from Uganda. Part of Youth Observatory, of course. Internet Society Special Interest Group on youth. I also coordinate the Vendor Youth Internet Governance Forum. Thank you, it's a pleasure to be here.
>> VALERIA: Thank you, hi, everyone, good morning from Poland. My name is Valeria. I am the Youth Ambassador for Kenya. As part of the Youth Observatory here. Happy to see my colleagues and learnings from today. Thank you.
>> JACKIE: Hi, everyone. My name is Jackie. I'm from Nairobi, Kenya. I'm part of the Ambassadors and also part of the youth team. I'm here to share my insights on the topic that we'll be discussing today. Looking forward to your insights. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, everyone. The advent of COVID came with a number of challenges. Many of which involved the locking down of life the way we understood it. With these lockdowns and life, the way we understood it, came the feed to morph or adjust in the way we do life, basically. Go to work. Study. And try to understand the things around us. I want to understand how you, my panelists, have adapted to this kind of change. What tools you have used. And what other mechanisms we can come up with to try and ‑‑ what are the issues that come with the drugs we now term as our online life. I want to start with Adisa. Has it been easy for you to adapt to some of these tools? When did you eventually embrace some of these tools and how have you made the most of them?
>> Thank you very much. I think we all do agree that a lot has changed. When it comes to the way we do things. The way we school. The way we shop. The way we move around. Especially as young people, our way of life has been affected, especially by the COVID‑19 pandemic. The Internet, however, has been a saving grace for so many of us. We now can go to school online. We can attend meetings online. We also have different daily living activities that has been translated to the Internet now. So in the past couple of months or more than a year, actually, we have seen tools that have really helped in transitioning from normal physical way of doing things to even a more digital way of doing things.
We now have online meeting platforms. We schedule meetings even with online tools and all of that. Also I see a lot of people are now more connected with social media, which also comes with its own challenges. It's actually a gradual process. Even with these challenges, I believe this is why we have discussions like this also. Because we have challenges around inclusion. We have challenges around accessibility for people with disabilities. And underrepresented groups. Also, we have issues when it comes to policies and how it impacts young people who happen to be the largest demographic of people using the Internet. So these discussions are very valued and important to address some of these issues, especially when if comes to inclusion. Because the young people have been quite underrepresented for a while when it comes to Internet policy. And implementation.
This is why it's important we represent our own perspectives in these discussions and also we're able to understand where policy is coming from. Because sometimes we might not see the way we should. More statistical discussions like this give a platform for us to actually engage. And have a common ground when it comes to these issues. So the Internet has been a blessing, like I said. Lots of people are developing more. Even though the inclusion is not there yet. Certain parts of the world are still disconnected, which it's important that we connect the entire world so that more opportunities ‑‑ there can be equal opportunities for people who live in, say, Africa, compared to other places where there are more Internet resources. So with this, thank you very much, moderator.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you very much, Adisa. I wish to bounce the same question off to Lily Botsyoe as well.
>> LILY BOTSYOE: Just to say times have changed and in the advent of the pandemic, it hasn't gotten better. It's gotten to the point where we had to, as you said, morphed into ‑‑ even as formal opportunities that exist on the online world. This is what has happened. We moved from balancing the offline and online world to seeing how we can even make the online world a natural extension of the offline. What this means is people are taking full cost models online. People are working and submitting and meeting KPIs and meeting due dates and deadlines online to the standard that they don't need any physical interaction or anybody's supervision.
People have even taken to self‑learning, growing yourself. Moving yourself from one field into the other. Because you've had tools online that are able to help you do so. Now, in getting to this point there have been many explorations. Some people have started using tools and found out later on they were not very good at using those tools. I'll give an example. There are many conferencing tools many people used in the wake of the pandemic. I'll give you Zoom. There's WebEx and many others. Right? People think WebEx is really technical to a large extent. Because you have to get a link to join the meeting. Sometimes also you're left out, somebody has to attend to you before you can come in. Other times, Zoom is straightforward. Somebody lets you in.
You can raise your hand, ask a question, and whatnot. When it comes to the usage of the platforms, itself, because we're talking about inclusive designs for people who adopted to the online space. I want to give some talk on even accessibility. How people use and maximize the usage of these tools. On Zoom, there has been the rise of captioning, closed captioning for people who essentially can't hear clearly. But able to follow true thoughts. There's also been interpretation that exists for people to be able to tap into languages that aren't used directly and able to understand. This is made possible because over the pandemic, people said we needed this addition.
Even though it was there, they had to beef it up and have people to use it and say this works or this doesn't work. Now, on WebEx, you have the option of closed captioning. Not as you see in Zoom. Just, like, realization. This is how people are able to relate to what works for them when it comes to accessibility and design and use of the tools online. Two things, when it comes to the usage and how things have evolved for me in the work of the pandemic. You see there are different personas and there are different pathways to adapting to the tools we use online. Lily, as somebody ‑‑ still learning, and maybe another learns by seeing. She's more of a visual learner.
We want to appreciate tools differently. And so in a large extent, you have to find the tools that work for us and give our best while we're using it and able to help us and the usage of it. We want to know, how does Lily found out that Zoom exists? Is it paid? Is it free? Am I part of the world where I have opportunities to use it? Especially because I'm a recent graduate. Do I have the necessary resources to be able to acquire them? All those are things we bring into perspective when we're talking about design in the work of the pandemic and how resources are evenly distributed so young people can make the most of their usage online. Essentially to live their dreams.
Even as this pandemic is happening. We all have the real opportunity of being here and talking to people online because of these technologies that we're using. Imagine if somebody sits in their room and can't hear me because there's no interpretation or probably there's no closed captioning. Because of some special ability, they're not able to relate to me. These are some of the things that have come up in the work of the pandemic and how I probably have evolved into the space because of the things I explored and able to use. Why we're advocating that things could over time diversify to meet different personas and appreciate and bring into perspective the pathways to using technology.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you, Lily. I want to call upon Gabriel Karsan, one of our participants who is remotely connected to this chat. I want to ask him the same question. How have you been able to adapt in the changing times with COVID? Are you there?
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Yes, I'm here, I hope I'm audible.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Please proceed.
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Hello, my name is Gabriel Karsan. I'm founder of the Emerging Youth Initiative and affiliated with Youth Observatory and Youth Asia. I'm actually using the online tools to connect to you and share my voice. Following up on what Lily said, it's one thing being connected and achieving meaningful connectivity. It's one thing having access to tools and actually being able to use the tools. The pandemic came with critical junctures we were able to fast track in terms of innovation. This came at a down point of polarization which means that some societies have been able to go so fast. We see the metaverse, how emerging technologies are taking shape, how we interact with the world. We also see people, young kids, who did not get to school for, like, two years.
It's not because the tools are not there. It's not ubiquitous to each and everybody on Earth. When we say we want a united Internet, it means we have to achieve inclusion. Designing an inclusive space comes with a matter of design thinking. The first thing about design thinking is having empathy. I to learn that there are differences and parameters that come with different personas when they want to engage. You can't access the tools when you don't have a connection. How do you get a connection? As Adisa said, it's important when we strengthen our institutions at the policy level, also cooperation and personal level. That we're able to understand key parameters and junctures to put the populations which have not been privileged enough to understand or to kind of, like, use the resources available for them. Because me as an African from Tanzania and my population, I cannot be equated with western kind of economy where it's easy for them to get access. The affordability of the Internet. And for me, it's very difficult just to go and get connected on a cellular level.
So the tools, like, cloud computing, data‑driven markets, or the emerging skill sets and emerging technologies which are available, need to be ubiquitous to the culture of the people which means that before we create parameters of setting tools, we need to understand what the people need. How the people can be engaged. And how can they achieve meaning and purpose? It's an extension of people's lives. It's a life you live online. It is the same person. I am the same person here on‑site, online. It's important to me to have a close distinction between the line of accessing, understanding, and actually using it for the benefit of creating more development and understanding. And with that, I'll close. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Kasan. Valeria, you seem to connect strongly also with the issue of usage.
>> VALERIA: Thank you so much, moderator. When I was listening to Kasan speak about the challenges that I've been facing in Tanzania and the question you asked about how it has been adapting to the online space. Now looking from my perspective as a training advocate at the Kenya School of Law and also having to learn virtually, I'm able to relate a lot in terms of how the policies can actually match the culture and kind of connectivity issue that we're facing. For us at the Kenya School of Law, the entire learning has been made virtual. Because of that, some of our colleagues within the university are not able to now come on to the Kenya School of Law. Because they're going back home. Rural areas. There's no connectivity. So we're also talking about designing inclusive spaces. We're also supposed to think about for you to get on to that platform for learning.
Are you able to connect to the platform of learning? I think it's very important to think about that. On the cross side as well, I think just having the virtual spaces has also contributed positively. In that people who could not actually get the resources to actually move to the place where the school is set up can join online and achieve their dreams. If we're able to take care of the disadvantages such as Internet connectivity, resources required for Internet. If you're using a platform that is a paid platform. How it can be subsidized, especially for young people, to now access them. I see how the Internet, being an Internet blessing. It's very important. Now we're getting more and more people engaging in terms of schoolwork and opportunities. Yeah, thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Valeria. What are some of the skill sets that we have been forced to learn to be effective online? I would appreciate ‑‑ try to understand how it has been pushed to the deep end. What skill sets we've been able to adapt over time.
>> INNOCENT: All right. Thank you very much. Well, just before I talk about what technologies I've been able to adopt, I'd like to bring a scenario. For example, during the pandemic, we took some time in Uganda to do a survey for especially grassroots organisations just to understand the impact, yeah, of adopting these technologies. So some of the results were impressive. Because you'd see that actually grassroots organisations, some of them found it, like, so easy. Yeah. Though, of course, with challenges. Of course, there are also those who found it so hard. One thing I noticed was an organisation that found it so hard were actually organisations, for example, in rural areas. So that brought now the issue of why. About why, I realize the biggest issue is connectivity. Yeah. Of course, with the challenges that the country was having and all that.
Yeah. These organisations, of course, at that time couldn't work. The option was online. Coming to online, again, you'd see that there are so many challenges. So looking at the personal perspective. I'd like to admit it has not been hard for me. Because first of all, when you look at the challenges, the issues of digital safety have been able to adopt because maybe I have some knowledge about it. What about the ones who don't have? Yeah. Some of these platforms are not just safe. You need to know how to go by when you're using them. Yeah? And then most of us, of course, the challenge is now we may lack the knowledge of which platform can be safe and which one cannot be safe. Yeah? For us in the room, I'm very sure we must have at least some imagine to know that.
There's some platforms we shouldn't be on. Maybe if I'm using it on a public Wi‑Fi, maybe I should put a VPN. So that then brings me to the issue of how do we help them know? Yeah. At least I can say that through capacity building, well, a lot can be achieved. After that research, we're able to start conducting countrywide digital security training for these organisations. And for individuals. Yeah. To try and cover up the gap. So me personally, of course, the challenges were not so much my side. My adaptability has been flexible. At least I knew how I can go around with it. Yeah, thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Sorry, let me rephrase. How have you been effective?
>> INNOCENT: How have I been effective? I'd say I've been very effective because first of all, I've been working remotely. Yeah. So, of course, one, what I had to do is get what platforms work for me. And be able to learn how they work. How I do my work. My work with them was made easier because I learned how to use them and apply them. That increased my effectiveness, using them for work, yeah.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Innocent. Ms. Jackie, how have you been effective?
>> JACKIE: Thank you for that question. The pandemic made us realize how vital the Internet is and how critical it is every sector. In the advent of the pandemic in March 2020, we realized that actually every sector needed the Internet. That is education, health, and businesses. So I've been effective mostly using Wi‑Fi. In Kenya, we have the Internet connectivity space. So it's Wi‑Fi that I've been heavily relying on. Despite this, I realize there's actually a big connectivity divide in the country. There are places that still lack the Internet as we speak.
So modern areas have the Internet. There are rural areas that lack the Internet. Another challenge we realized during the pandemic is how expensive the Internet is. It's actually not affordable for everyone. These are things that actually need to be concerned for reasons of bringing everyone online. Actually, not everyone is online. And right now, the Internet is very critical.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Miss Jackie. Speaking from the Ugandan perspective, we lived through an interesting two years. We had the pandemic. Then we've had elections in the pandemic. And with this came a number of things that involved the Internet. Yet, we believe this is the only way we want to go forward. From our end, I think being effective has been very interesting. I want to hear from the Ghana/U.S. perspective. Lily Botsyoe, have you been able to be effective over the last two years when life was online?
>> LILY BOTSYOE: Right. We all know tech is very fast evolving. So, essentially, we have to unlearn and relearn a couple of things. You find that you're doing a lot of work online. But distractions. Things that take your time. Other times, Innocent mentioned security. Questioning your literacy of the Internet. Are you data illiterate? Are you able to access links and see whether this is good or not good or whatnot? How I've been effective using the Internet, as me trying to from time to time refresh my memory, especially when it comes to online tools.
Understand what tools are useful. What particular resources. I usually tell people that sometimes you find you may be using a tool and it's not probably yielding the result it has to. If you're using ‑‑ say, for instance, a scheduler to schedule your meetings and find out you don't get prompts so you're missing meetings. You may want to look to another thing to make it work. Because I work probably in two time zones, Ghana and U.S., I try not to have time ‑‑ a scheduler helps me with due dates and deadlines. But there's a threat of security because most of us have been working from home. In offices, you have firewall configured to you. You have updates automatically. Things that are automatically updated because there's company policy to guide them.
Even if you don't want them to, they probably just update on their own. At home, using your own machine, how are you able to think about it and see you're not just moving forward updates. Everybody sees all these other ‑‑ on your laptop. You reschedule it to the next three days. It gets to three days, you move it. You don't want to risk that. Thinking about how we're security conscious, getting our own systems up and running. Especially because we're working with very important company details and even details for ourselves. We want to keep private. So there I began using VPNs even for my phone for my pieces and all that. You want to even look at people who don't have VPNs.
People who probably are ‑‑ all the security issues and to be able to detect what even ‑‑ a faulty link. A link that is probably a virus looks like, right? And how they're able to detect it and not click some things. People probably don't even know how to ‑‑ you want to know how to get around things like that. Being effective, it's been me having to relearn over time. And just to be conscious of these times. Yeah. That has been how it's been going for me. It's still a long ways to go, if you ask me. More learning to be done.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Lily, for learning the best ops. I want to bring Gabriel Karsan back into the conversation in regards to living through a pandemic and elections and how we have been able to be effective with the challenges that come with those things that we already mentioned. Kasan?
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Thank you. We also had elections during the pandemic. Though we do not face some level of disturb there was some form of censoring that happened or denied access to some platforms. Funny thing is we need people to vote. For people to vote, you need them to be registered. The government has online systems to help facilitate this conversation. And open media as well. Media. Every candidate has the ability to use especially social media to create their message. We do believe that the Internet, itself, came as a parameter of the centralization, giving people to the power. More representative democracy.
And the same government is the one that created some sort of junctures to prevent people from actually debating, or independent thinking when it comes to sharing their thoughts on the electoral process. So this is quite a challenge. Because you want people to be connected. You want people to be online. To engage. So are their voices out there. And at the same time, the governments and systems they're creating are the ones that are trying to oppress the people.
So we see that. The tools that we're creating, are the tools that we're trying to promote to society really helping the society in need of those tools? So just to share a perspective, I think it's about time that we have crisis management and actually really open decentralized systems of policy as well as stronger institutions which are not only reliable to one power or one authority in terms of creating a mandate of how the Internet and tools should be.
Rather, how we can create it to be viewed from a bottom‑up approach. A particular kind of generation, which I can we represent that generation. To be critical and be mindful in actually fighting for the digital rights and actually fighting for the digital spaces. And actually creating some sort of a digital space that's quite reliable to each and every one. Most of the African states, when they go through an election, we always find an issue with Internet.
Who do we go to report? Who is actually responsible? If you're a citizen, you're part of the government. So what should be done? It's important now to see together here how we can come up with some kind of consensus or recommendation, especially from a personal perspective level and how to translate this into policy as well as into multi‑stakeholder institutions that can actually create safer spaces which are actually ubiquitous to each and every one. Thank you, all.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much. Very interesting you mentioned the multi‑stakeholder approach to managing some of the things. I had that conversation earlier with Innocent before the start of this session on taking on the multi‑stakeholder approach. Maybe something we could associate here and gather momentum in some regard, Innocent.
>> INNOCENT: Thank you, once again, Mr. Moderator. Talking about the issue of the multi‑stakeholder approach, yeah. I'd like to say to some extent, I feel like governments have felt, like, maybe it is their responsibility to see that we access the Internet or not. Because when you look, for example, at the Ugandan issue, it was more of, like, the government feels like we can do this and no one will do anything about it. Which is not supposed to be the case.
Then I was asking myself, why do they appear, the Internet Governance Forum, what do they even say? How do they defend themselves here, for example? During 2019, I actually looked for government officials of Uganda in one of the sessions. I asked them the same question. Yeah. Because it's so unfortunate that our government would fail to know that when we shut down the Internet, we are actually shutting down ourselves. Yeah. Not only the people you feel may be opposition in your government, opposition to your government, but your economy. Yeah. How during the Internet shutdown we had in Uganda, the city, for example, went so black. It was like, there's no activity in the city.
That's where you realize that, actually, the Internet is something. It's everything almost. Yeah. It's running how you live. It's running how your country can move on. So talking about what can be done. Yeah. I feel like maybe, for example, some governments have really understood this. There's a time I had a chat with the government officials of Switzerland. They seem to understand that, actually, it is great that the Internet is there. I felt like how can this be shared to the other governments, for example? Maybe multilateralism can play a role in that, yeah. Maybe diplomacy can play a role in that. We need maybe to step out and be like, you know what, let the issue of the Internet come on global talks. Yeah. For example, now, like, how they have very serious discussions about the climate change and all that. May be common ground.
That is how maybe we're going to be able to lobby for some of these things to change. Because I don't want us to reach at a time when the Internet will become a challenge again. The way we've had the climate issue now. Everyone is now panicking. Yet, we have a decision to make. Yeah? So maybe we need to step out and see that we address the issues of digitalization when we have the time. Let every government come out and be able to understand what needs to be done or what doesn't need to be done. And maybe that way, we can have countries help each other. Yeah. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Innocent, for the wonderful insights. Valeria, you seem to be nodding. You're the legal brain in the room. Is this something we should explore?
>> VALERIA: Thank you so much, moderator. As Innocent was speaking, I think for me my life mantra has been the three Es. Education, exposure, and experience. I also wonder so much about what Innocent is talking about in terms of how governments have taken up the issue of multi‑stakeholder approach, especially the Internet. This year's theme is Internet United. Just across the two years we've had the pandemic, I'm very fortunate to work for a firm where it's very important in terms of Internet, in terms of data security. A lot of it is confidential matters. I always wonder about my peers. In terms of right now interacting with the Internet, the thing when Lily spoke about security apps you should get on your laptop. Because of where I work, I'm able to understand that.
A number of trainings. I wonder about someone who's like me, but they're not able to understand what it means to have data security. They're not able to understand the opportunities you get on the Internet. How you're open to learning, open to using tools to access the Internet. You asked what are the skills that made us effective? One of the main skills I picked up, you need to be extremely flexible and open to learning. Like Lily said, there's a lot that's happening with the Internet, so fast. There are many trainings that have been done. Because of where I work, a lot of the software we move around, you have to take learning. New software. The documents.
All the new software to keep signatures and contracts and things like that. So I think my worry is if we do not make this conversation as serious as it is, we may end up having the crisis where he's seeing we may end up ten years from now, there's such a big distinction among the young people. Especially since I come from Kenya. I look a lot at African youth and how we're going to have that huge gap if nothing is done in terms of the training and the learning. The kind of people ‑‑ the kind of young people we'll have ten years from now. Yeah. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Well, I want to move this on to Lily. Apart from the role that governments play in fostering the movement of the Internet, what alliances can we build with the private sector, for instance, and Civil Society to consolidate a united Internet?
>> LILY BOTSYOE: Right. I like the fact ‑‑ I like the conversation about alliances and partnerships. It's a multi‑stakeholder approach to engagement. This is important because you may go further on in the deliberation, in the strategy, for inclusion. And realize that you've left a stakeholder group out and would have to retrace your plans. That's why it's important in the beginning of your strategy, your planning, even the user, the citizen, are left out. So all you know, you may be designing things for them. Essentially because of probably their position, geographical location, their needs. And very unique things that when you dialogue with them, you'll find out.
When it comes to partnerships especially with private organisations, we're currently running research on digital inclusion for a community in the U.S. A part where we're seeing private sector play a very active role is when it comes to hardware redistribution. Hardware clinics. And hardware ‑‑ and accessibility when it comes to devices and device usage. Connecting people and infrastructure with regards to the Internet. The first thing they want to look at is a hardware tool. What infrastructure is available to be able to connect them. And how eventually they have literacy and skills to connect to such conversation. So for alliances and partnerships, we want to look at what devices people have. Essentially, the opportunity for you to redistribute when necessary.
Or partnerships to make available the tools for usage. That's, like, the very first leg into getting people to use and getting people connected in the Internet space. And with infrastructure, studies have shown that the structural barriers to fully using and meaningfully participating in the online world. Here, also, private institutions liaison with governments and other stakeholder groups to be able to provide help not only for the devices like I mentioned early on. But for learning also and also for when it comes to the security awareness, creation, and capacity building.
And a very interesting point of the conversation about alliances with private institutions that is cropping up is employment. Now everybody talks about technology and its usage. But there's a part that advances technology from just usage too where it economically empowers. When it's economically empowering, it means people are able to secure jobs, growing jobs, and also contribute as a society because there are skills that have been built and innovations that are cropping up. So how private institutions are helping to run people through likes like programmes, run them through skills clinics and to build capacities and probably employ them into mainstream or sometimes it starts with something with them in the community.
In that light, if they're trying to maybe shape the Internet, you are getting community champions who understand the needs of the community. Getting citizens who understand the needs of the jurisdiction where they live in. And they're able to probably grow and use it because they've been able to ‑‑ they have firsthand information and now have skills to be able to contribute meaningfully. These are the places where partnerships can exist. That is ranging from hardware redistribution. Security awareness creation and capability building. Then employment and job creation. Because technology, essentially, can empower. That is how far‑reaching the Internet has gone. That's how we advocate. It's continuous availability and openness.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you, Lily, for the insights. Miss Jackie, you mentioned earlier the reach and connectivity with which Kenya has made Internet a little more accessible. Especially in the urban areas. I want to understand, is this something that government has done? Is it something that private sector has done? Has it been a mix or the two entities? Or are there also private players for Civil Society and government who have made the accessibility of Internet more reachable, the costs?
>> JACKIE: Thank you so much for that question. So recently, we heard the government issue out licenses to community networks. That is individuals who come up with a forum where they provide Internet to underserved areas. This is an initiative that's a partnership between the government and private sector. So what is happening right now in Kenya is the private sector is coming up in ‑‑ filling up the connectivity gap. So in underserved areas, you can get a community that comes up with a project to provide Internet within the area.
So what the government has done right now is it has licensed these communities, rather, licensed these initiatives to provide networks in these underserved areas. So currently the companies that we have for Internet in Kenya, we have Telcomm, Safaricom. In costs that are financially viable. The areas that are not financially viable are not gotten to by these organisations. What has happened is private individuals have come up initiatives of providing Internet in underserved areas or, rather, rural areas. So currently as it is right now, it's a partnership that involves the government, the private sector, and even private organisations.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Jackie. Kasan, are you still online? Can you take this one as well?
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Yes. Hello, can you hear me?
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Yeah, please proceed.
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Thank you. I think the Internet is operational because it's functional. It serves a purpose, a meaning to its users. It's a community. A significant community in itself. Being part of a community comes with an obligation that we share equally and meaningfully across borders to everybody else. We're a community of human beings. The basis of our social dynamics are ubiquitous to all. We see how we share that with the Internet. As should the Internet and all the skills should be. They need to be straightforward and meaningful to each and everybody. This comes with the alliances that we're talking about. How we can really view them.
As we know, we're social creatures as human beings. It's important to be part of a community. Being part of a community comes with an obligation. The Internet is owned by its users. We need a united front to challenge the better infrastructures as well as creating policies of affordable practices and sharing these good practices to cultivate an avid population that actually understands what it's using and able to regulate it in itself. Civil Society should also get advantages on how it operates. Because most of the time, there has been so much oppression that comes with Civil Society as it fights for the digital rights, as it fights for equity and sharing the platforms.
But we should put the users first. You know. As the users creating alliances should come first so we can be connected beyond just the devices, but as a human species. Venturing through new civilizations. This means when the users are independent thinkers who actually understand the Internet is such a complex structure of networking. But simply enough, it's something that has connected us beyond our wildest dreams and its importance to our community.
It's important now that we fight for it and try to find a way to make it ubiquitous to each and everybody across the communities. Because it's not just something that I might be privileged enough to understand and it ends there. As a lady said, ten years from now, what is the Internet? That's the important question that should be there. Not only just about tools and the infrastructure. What does it mean as an individual level and at a life level where we can have these doctrines that can help us venture, and the next questions that need to be answered. And the next forms of economies and social dynamics. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Kasan. I want to pass on the same question, the linkages between the private sector government and Civil Society. Community in general. And hear perspectives from Nigeria. How has it been done there?
>> Thank you very much, moderator. Speaking for Nigeria, it's clear there are still a lot of challenges when it comes to partnership and implementation with the private sector. However, we are seeing a lot of growth. Recently, in terms of connectivity. The National Communications Commission actually issued out licenses to use the white spaces for telecommunication in Nigeria. And this was really good because it gives more opportunity for better connectivity in the country.
However, think my colleagues have mentioned a couple of things that are quite similar because we're in Africa. A couple of issues are similar. But I would also like to mention where the efforts have actually been done. Because we are talking about inclusion. And we know that young people, we also experience some form of exclusion, especially coming from Africa. So when it comes to digital skills, we are seeing a lot of private organisations who have made it their responsibility to, you know, work with young people and train them on new digital skills and emerging technologies and blockchain. And some of those skills that would actually be very better used in our future.
And the thing that is quite important now is the ethics and responsibility when it comes to using the Internet. A lot of people now are being connected. But they have no understanding of how to navigate the Internet in a safe and secure and also in a way that it doesn't put them at risk, actually. So we have new issues, like data protection. The EU enacted GDPR. And it has been enforced in different parts of the world now. But, you know, a lot of people use the Internet and they're aware of some of these things. It's actually enforceable, even if you're not in the EU. The data of someone who is in the EU, you have to comply with GDPR. A lot of people are conducting businesses online. They're approaching in different ways and they don't necessarily know about these things. So I believe there are lots of capacity building going on. But we actually need more of that. We need more of that. And also, we have a problem of misinformation of fake news.
Which I believe that's ‑‑ this actually applies more to the older generation. Because, you know, typically, they tend to put it on young people that we're the ones who share fake news. Recent research has shown it's actually our parents that share fake news through WhatsApp. So I believe a lot more capacity building needs to be done in that aspect. And we need also for the elderly, because this actually seems like an excluded group as well. When it comes to knowledge of how to use information and do proper fact check and verification before sharing information. And also to know how the impact of this fake news can go as far as toppling an election process.
Because we are seeing that in a couple of ‑‑ even in the west where elections were actually affected through misinformation. So, yes. And I'd also like to say security awareness. A lot of people connect to public Wi‑Fi. And, of course, we are in the Internet Governance Forum. So many of us probably know that when you use a public Wi‑Fi to be more secure, it's good to use a VPN. The average man doesn't know that. And there needs to be more awareness for that. Because some people would actually log into their bank accounts using a public Wi‑Fi. And they don't know that this actually puts them at risk. You know, we're working more on getting more people to use the Internet.
But when we get these people to use the Internet, is it safe for them? Is it something they would like to come back to? Because many people have had bad experiences. And it's simply because they didn't have the opportunity to learn. And properly understand the Internet and how to navigate. Lastly, I'd like to talk about knowledge management. A lot of people put our content online. And they don't necessarily know how to do it in a more open way. So some of the partnerships that happen in the area is the Youth Special Interest Group, we worked with the committee in the past couple of years. We know they put information out there and make it open and accessible using Wikipedia licenses. Or using creative licenses. So I think there needs to be more capacity building on this.
I know there actually is a Wikipedia chapter in Nigeria. We also have created a chapter also in Nigeria. They're actually working actively now to encourage more young people to put content out there. Because in Africa, we seem to be more consumers of content rather than creators. So it's important that we also take control and tell our own stories. Rather than consume more and not put out our own knowledge and our own local perspectives. So with this, I'd like to submit. Thank you, Mr. Moderator.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I want to, again, start with you and we'll go around the table. As young people, how are you making your voice heard in the way the Internet is being governed, for instance?
>> Yes. So I think I would say a typical example of what young people should do, and that might sound ‑‑ but I think it's important that I stress this. Because I started with the Internet Governance space in 2017. When I was a fellow at the Internet Governance Forum in Switzerland. And ever since, I've tried to engage on both the local level, on the Africa level, as well, and also on the global level. One of the ways in which we make our voices heard is actually to participate in the discussion. There used to be a common saying back there in the Internet Governance Forum that when young people come to forums like this, they go to the back. Or they go to town and go and shop.
But this is not what we should do. We should actually stand up and take the mic, speak to some of these policies. Because if we do not, we realize that policies will be made from perspectives that do not necessarily represent us. I'll give a typical example. This was a long time ago. But in Nigeria, there was a discussion concerning gaming. And I'm not mentioning the name. But a senior officer actually mentioned that they need to stop it because people need to ‑‑ children need to read their books. And why is gaming a theme that has been discussed? Realize that in Europe and other countries, gaming is actually now a multibillion‑dollar industry that generates wealth and funds for countries. Now it's being taxed. And it's actually something that we need to look into. We need to design policies that make sure that those things are. So as a young people, we tend to understand that. But you can't blame the older generation for not understanding that.
That is why need to be on the table. That is why we need to make our voices heard when it comes to these decisions. Because lots of things will affect you and I if young people don't get involved. So what's my advice? Get involved with your local Internet Governance chapters. The national and regional initiatives. Attend a forum and speak. Talk to issues that matter to you as a young person. And make sure that you're included. If you're excluded, make your voice heard.
That this is what is going on. And I believe now we have more inclusion for young people. Because back when we started, we kept hitting it on the head that young people are now included. This is the situation on the ground. Now we're seeing the results of some self‑advocacy. So my encouragement would be please keep on the fire even in your countries and regions. I believe that positive outcomes will definitely come from it. Thank you very much. I submit.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Just before you go, Lily, I want to remind our online audience that we have a provision for you to ask questions of the panel. Raise your hand. And we'll pick on you whenever that comes up. Or you can drop the question in the chat facility and we'll pick it up from here. Thank you so much. Lily, proceed.
>> LILY BOTSYOE: Right away. So one of the ways young people can contribute, shifting the space of advocacy, especially during here today. Essentially, talking about taking our spaces, making our voices heard. Essentially, describing issues where it affects us most as young people. But I want to veer off from this to include what is known as reverse mentoring now. So he mentioned that it has been found out that all the folks and those who are actually sharing a lot of fake news and misinformation. So we are the very first generation of active users of the Internet who are going to be growing up and building the core of technology. Because we understand different things. So in your work in the space and advocating, it's up to you to do knowledge sharing.
To mentor people who are even older than you in your organisation to sit in meetings and give some perspective on what you think as a projection would help your company. And essentially, how you can move your company from one point to the other. When it comes to advocacy and policymaking, it doesn't always have to be the speaking part. There's a part where you have to do problem identification and research. We are seated in communities where there are problems glaring. Things that need solutions to. And sometimes the solutions are hidden in technology. Half of the things that we find online as problems, the roots are found in offline space.
So it's up to you to be observant. Do some research. It doesn't mean you have to get the variables or do it in a scholarly manner. You can be the one to say I suggest that or I think that. In public forums, put up your hand and say, I think this is a problem and we go a certain route to be able to get to this particular angle. Especially, when it comes to conversations around the Internet and shaping technology. When we move from the problem and research, you want to be sometimes the one who volunteers to be a part of it. Young people, sometimes people like to say I'm not going to volunteer anymore because it doesn't pay me anything. I've been telling people that most times you build capacity by volunteering maybe once or twice. Right? And in the near future, you're going to be paid for to do what you're doing. And for people who, future leaders, who are going to be digital leaders in the future, the opportunities to volunteer is one that you should build capacities to be able to sit in places where you can influence because you have built experience over the years.
So in your advocacy, it could be in your own spaces. You don't have to be in a big forum like we're in. This is a platform. We have an audience. People are going to follow this. On your social media platform. If you can go there, you can put in information, can debunk things that are happening. You can point at resources. Internet, contributorship and how technology should go. If you identify a problem because you've been observant and being a contributor, being active, not just a spectator, it means you're going to be finding out what is wrong. Essentially, figuring out how to help things you've identified. From the research, the identification, to taking up spaces and essentially volunteering to be a part of the problem solving.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you. Innocent?
>> INNOCENT: All right. Thank you. One thing I'd like us to know that we are lost. Yeah. Not lost as in we don't know what we're doing. But I feel like we need to go back and rethink if we truly have a united Internet. Yeah? So talking about what needs to be done. And all that. As young people, of course, my colleagues have talked about advocacy and all the work of capacity building. And how it can help. Helping communities to understand some of these issues. But, yeah, I'm one person who believes that everything starts and falls with leadership. So me, my calling is we need to make our governments to start being to some extent, of course, it's very hard to make a government to do what exactly you want. But we need to face these people. Yeah.
I know there are sessions that are going to involve government here. What about we take our issues from these sessions so we can hear from them what they have to say. Yeah? Maybe also, of course, we talked about how we need to engage. Like, we have regional initiatives. Yeah. We have the East African IGH. We have the national. We need to engage these policymakers. We need government people to come around. And if there's anything really they feel like is an issue, maybe they can be able to tell us. Because, otherwise, we're going to be left behind. Because the government we have maybe is not willing to do what exactly others are doing. Yeah? So mine is that we look back there. Yeah? What is the role of government? Which is supposed to actually be the key player in this. Yeah.
So, it's open to us today. We have a whole week here. We need to make our leaders accountable. They need to tell us. So we need to face them. Yeah. Already talked about going to the mic. We have so many issues we talked about here. So we need to take them out there. Because the people we want to talk to are not inside here. Yeah. Thank you.
>> Thank you so much, moderator. A lot has been said by previous speakers on what the young people need to do. For me, I look at it this way. Bring to the table what you have and bring who you are. This is what it means basically. That everyone can contribute to the theme of having the Internet United. Depending on who you are. Like Lily said, not all of us could come for speaking engagements. Are you a researcher in the university? Are you doing research around what's happening with the Internet? We need to read about that. We need to see what actions are being done. I'll give you a good example. I think you were in on this earlier in the year. Africa was facing a challenge where there was a problem with the Internet infrastructure wanting to be moved out of Africa into the west. I remember seeing many young people signing up their names, have the government where the court case was happening to listen to their appeals to have the Internet infrastructure remain if Africa.
My question was, as young people, do we understand how this is our business? Because if the Internet infrastructure that's meant for Africa is moved into different countries or different continents, that means more and more African people are not going to be connected. So my plea would be to bring who you are. Where you're a researcher, whether it's music, bring who you are. Again, I always say this. Being an alumni of digital grassroots, I think we need to see more young people coming through for more young people. As I sit here, I sit with my senior ‑‑ because of the training that he gave me, I'm able to now know which niche of the Internet I'd like to be in. Which niche I'd like to contribute in. I also think having that space where young people are there for each other and being able to learn how we can contribute to the Internet is very important. For me, bring who you are, any experience you have. You serve a greater purpose in this fight to get an Internet United. Thank you.
>> Thank you so much for that, moderator. I tend to agree a lot with Lily. To address the issues around the Internet, we need to go to the root of the problem. We start we research. That is researching which rights have been impacted. How these rights can be protected in the Internet space. Another thing we need to do moving away from the layer of research, we need to move to the advocacy level. We can advocate on the various platforms we have.
Young people are heard on various platforms. We can make our voices heard reaching out to leaders and addressing the issues. To bring more people involved, we need to enlighten youths in the society on their rights on the Internet and freedoms they have on the Internet. By enlightening them, we'll be bringing more voices and making our voices heard by the government. Another thing we need to do as young people which I don't see most of us doing is participation in policymaking processes. We can participate in the drafting of bills. Giving these bills are being presented if government. By doing that, we'll make our voices heard and the government considering many things they overlook when it comes to the Internet. That's how I think we can also make our voices heard.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you. I wish to call upon Kasan who's joining us online.
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Yes. Sure. I do agree with a lot that has been said from my peers. And in the end, summing it up, it goes to character. When we say bring who you are in leadership, leadership begins with you. You need to ‑‑ in terms of who you are as an individual. Because as an individual, there's a part of leaders to cultivate the values and social norms that are important to create a more inclusive space. Most of us have been beneficiaries of these fellowships. I was a fellow from 2018. From there, I kept building on my voice until now. A part of the table trying to create the next phase of how we view Internet leadership.
I fundamentally had to understand my niche. I had to understand myself as a person. And building the character. The characteristic knowing that to be a significant member of connected community comes with an obligation that I have to sustain so that we can achieve this form of sustainability. There are levels where we have ‑‑ at the individual level, you can speak to your peers like how we're doing here. Most of us are friends here. From us knowing each other personally. Not because we were avid employees of some organisations. It came because we as people were passionate about the Internet and could see our part in. We could work on that. That is important. Then leadership. It's important when we understand what brand of leadership are you really trying to do.
Understand our distant part in how we build all that we need to build. Another thing is that from there, when we have enough skill sets, it's important to cultivate or to refine a message which can be pushed into a policy level. Inclusive policy as well needs some form of structures. It's important if we could actually share our understanding, our best practices, and most importantly, be open to dialogue and conversations with a niche or understanding our part on the Internet. And open sharing, as well as always being able to take and cultivate and build the voice without any fear or without any oppression will be important. As young people here, we have champions. We have champions who look at us. We have people from different areas who see us and see some sort of representation. That comes the responsibility. It's about time that we work with that and build more.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Kasan. Do we have any questions from the audience?
>> Good morning, everybody. Thank you very much, I mean, for sharing these ideas with us. My question is how can we, like, help young people to set up initiatives in their respective countries? Especially, I'm going back to talk about inaccessibility. Because we still are facing this inaccessibility when it comes to talking about access to Internet. And especially in terms of Africa. We are, like, not more connected. In Chad, for instance, I'm talking about how youth want to be more involved. But what kind of problems are they facing? And how can we help them, like, to be more engaged? And what kind of things they can contribute to promote, like, safe access to Internet? Thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much. Any other questions? We'd like to take all of them. Or if there's not, I guess I could ask any of the panelists here. The Internet. So, what, we in Africa have bigger problems to worry about especially among the youth. So the Internet. So what? It's open to any of our panelists.
>> I want to talk about ‑‑ truthfully, just very briefly. So a question was how do we help young people to set up initiatives in their home countries? And what is available? And essentially, what can young people add to the advocacy we have based on the initiatives we've set up? So I find out that usually, we have, say, initiatives do start from the grassroots. It means they're able to understand what is happening on the ground. And then they have some support, home support, because they all feel what they feel from what affects them the most.
And if you wanted to start off something in your community, I think essentially, because you want to impact not just you, you may want to see how people are support in what you want to do. Maybe talk to people who are locally leaders. And probably would help you on your journey. Then connect the global or larger group. Let's just talk about NRIs, national and regional initiatives for the IGF. If you want to avoid any conflicting initiatives which are essentially recognized by the IGF, you want to look around you and ask are there any existing ones? And then you probably make your own ‑‑ you make your ideas known. Then you can take it from there. What you do is probably get people support you a team. Because IGF is multi‑stakeholder, they usually ask you to have a team as diverse as possible with skills, with representation, and also from the stakeholder groups.
Is it a technical community? A government? Is it just an end user or somebody interested in making your work very fruitful? And then because there are resources that have been amassed globally for you to be able to tap into, like funds, like strategies, like learning materials. You want to connect to the global IGF so you can get some benefits like this. Even if you're not running an initiative that is IGF related. Even if it is set up, an institution that could probably run an advocate around technology and Internet advocacy. You can still connect to some of the partners here in this meeting. At the core of this work, you want to connect at that level, say, okay, this is an idea. Take it from there. So there's more often engagement. And then getting some connections set up. Being able to tap into already existing resources. Or else you'd be reinventing the wheel.
There will be friction in your community. Also the reason why ‑‑ even work in the first place because nobody is going to be listening to very conflicting opposing sides. Especially for young people, we're very energetic and want to run at every idea. We end up creating and creating and creating when somethings you can just complement. Sometimes you don't have to bring up a whole new initiative. You just have to say, okay, if you run ‑‑ I can bring up trainees from other companies to be able to help me because I have the links. That is how there's solidarity not just in your community but on global changes. I'm going to hand quickly on, the Internet. So what? The reason why we talk about Internet now is we've seen that our skills and abilities have been able to help us a large extent. What technology does for us is to augment what we can do. Augmenting means it's going to move it from point A to point B. So if we're able to reach people, say, 100 miles away with health supplies and to be able to attend to them maybe 100 miles away. That's fine.
They're 1,000 miles away. In Ghana, we have drone services for delivering health supplies. Those are the places that maybe the rural ‑‑ they are using drones to be able to help us reach there. So technology is helping us augment the natural efforts you've put in and be able to fill in where the issues of underserved or under-resourced communities. That is why there's technology and that is why we ask why. Because there's only very little you can do to a large extent. When we add what we can do to technology, then it becomes more. And it impacts us very widespread. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much, Lily, for ably addressing both issues independently. My question, having been derived from the question that came from our audience. We can take another question from our audience before we start the process of wrapping up from this. Yes, please speak, introduce yourself. And then ask your question.
>> Hi, everyone. I'm from Haiti. I'd like to know better ways to improve Internet access during the pandemic.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much for your question. This question is open to anybody who wants to take it. Can we have one more question?
>> Okay. I'd like to say for the record, I would like to just quickly contribute to the question that was earlier asked. I think Lily did justice to a large extent to the question. I'd also like to add because I think the question was that how can young people start their own initiatives. Right? So in their own communities. So I'll just give a direct answer. Sometimes it can be very confusing when as a young person, you want to start an initiative. So at the ISOC Youth Special Interest Group, what we have specialized in doing is helping out young people who want to start local initiatives in their communities with, one, reaching out to their local NRIs.
And, two, we also help out with setting up possibly funding as well if it's something we're comfortable with handling. I think it's important that we get some level of support. And expertise from people who have done this before. And so that you can go ‑‑ So I'll just say reach out to us. We're always eager to get your emails. Just go online. Check for youthsig.org. You'll find our contact information there. We'll be happy to support you. Now the question of Kadessa. The question is how can we help young people ‑‑ how can we improve connectivity in the pandemic? I think I can speak from the Africa perspective. I think a large extent, western world of improved connectivity.
I think what they're discussing now is meaningful connectivity. But I think in Africa, we still have places that aren't connected. Or with connectivity that is subpar. So how do we improve this? We have realized through different research that this actually stems from absence of infrastructure. So that's why we have companies like ISOC coming up with what we call the Community Networks. So that rural areas can also have their own private independent networks. In cases where the ISPs are refused to connect them. Probably because it is not economically viable. So with community network projects, rural areas can also have connectivity. If you're thinking as a person how can I contribute to this, then you can look at ways to work with ISOC to set up community networks in your own community. Then like I said, it's largely an infrastructure problem.
So if you have the chance to talk to your government, to reach out to them concerning certain concerns, it will be very important because they carry this power. Especially coming from Africa. I know that the Internet connectivity is still largely controlled by the government. So these are two ways that you can do that. And then there are easier ways you can contribute is through improving capacity building. Because even areas that are connected in terms of infrastructure, we still have people who do not have the required expertise to actually use the Internet. So even in many cities, we have people that they're even scared of touching a phone. So if you can in your own little way try to educate people, educate your community, educate young kids, on how to stay safe and how to use the Internet, then that's a way you can contribute. So I hope I answered the question. Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I want to take one more question from the audience. Let's make it brief.
>> Hello. Do you hear me? Do I need the mic? I still have to ‑‑ okay. I promise I'm going to make it brief. I'm not sure it's going to be brief. First, I would like to add I'm from Sudan. I'm a political activist. Doctor, fashion designer, many things. Anyway, I'm here to speak on the Internet shutdown that happened in 2021. I don't know ‑‑ a little bit of context. Revolution 2019. We'd overthrown the previous regime of Al‑Bashir. During the time of revolution in 2019, the military leaders shut down the Internet for a month from the 3rd of June to the 30th of June. And during the shutdown of the Internet, hundreds of people deprived the rights of the Internet, been killed. Women raped. Lots of human rights violations happened in this period. After the Internet goes back, we saw a flow of videos of undocumented, at that time, undocumented human right violation. What happened this time in 2021, the military controlled the shutdown. Again, hundreds of people been killed.
And only open the services for the banking and taxi applications by the military leaders to serve their own purposes. Also bigger investments lost during that time. Lots of young entrepreneurs, they lost their opportunity to find the investors outside. So what we can do as a young people to sanction ‑‑ to find a way to apply more international pressure. To sanction those military leaders. Although, we know the Sudan signed the low‑binding treaties of the ICCPR, which is the Treaty of the Conventions of Political and Civil Rights. And also the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. How we can hold those governments accountable. I know this is not only Sudan's problem. This is lots of African countries' problem. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much for the question. Lily. Try to make it brief.
>> LILY BOTSYOE: Yes. I think even we have lawyers, people who do law here. I just really want to say, like, very, very important point raised here. Especially, because I have a friend who even before this started had to flee their house. There was oppression. I think she lives in Dubai now. Very sad. The question about how we can apply for pressure so there's sanctions for these military and all those is one that I don't want to repeat advocacy. Because it's already happening. And we have companies like Access Now putting out communication, spearheading all the conversations. Some people like you out there making the news from Sudan. Because you are in Sudan. And so you have done the part. These companies also do it. I think what she's just given to us right now is to hear the conversation. Now we know. So we move it on. And who knows.
When we sit in meetings like we are going to be having this week, we bring up some of these conversations about the issue of government and military putting undue control over the Internet. And the reason usually is that they want to protect ‑‑ you don't protect people being curtailing their access to things that are essentially right, right? So this is, like, for me, I think you've given us the talks to do. Because you have begun the work from your home, Access Now is doing it. Other companies. Sorry. Other companies ‑‑ yeah. Even an Internet measurement tool and everything that's able to detect some of these shutdowns. Ask us now to have more voices heard. There are so many things that I've heard that are happening. Usually, you want to think that what's really stopping them? This is a lot of power play and politics. And we want to ‑‑ on my behalf, I want to just say we've had these pleas. Very important ones. Even in Ghana. We just had an election where they attempted to shut down the Internet around election because they thought there would be a spread of misinformation. It took just a lot of advocacy on Twitter. And it was gone.
Advocacy on Twitter. That's one thing I'm thankful for. Here the case, it's more from just even the talks, real implementation, to the lives of people being lost. To even many people who've been locked out of their businesses. The work they do for economic reasons and everything. So I'm thinking what we can do now, after everything that's happening, is just add our voices and to herald this message. Because right now, it is mostly a power play. One that essentially is moved out of our league to where we need more people to add their voices.
>> I know it's a political issue. I remember the time of the shutdown. The three weeks. Provided, like, free services for human right activists on the ground so they can get, like, a free services through VPN. And tried to flow the videos of the human rights violations. So there is things we can do. I believe we can reach those companies. And try to find a way. If this can happen ‑‑ I mean, we know it's going to happen. Because we live in dictatorship era. And everything can threaten democracy. Specifically, the human right of the freedom of Internet right. So how we can reach those companies, not only VPN. We can find other companies that if something like that happened, we can have an alternative solution right away when the shutdown happened.
>> Exactly. That is spot‑on. How do you report shutdowns when people don't know? How do you do it in Sudan? How do you report the issues of shutdown in Sudan when you don't have Internet to reach out to people outside Sudan?
>> From practical what happened, we've been in contact with the men on the ground. Those get the contact from the Proton VPN. They were taking those videos, collected from the neighborhood they were protesting and witnessing the killing with the videos. They put them in a group to archive them. We take them and spread them through our ‑‑ by we, I need the Sudanese, the Europe, and the America. So we can spread them all around. I remember 2019 when this happened, lots of influencers like Rihanna took the initiative of the Blue for Sudan. We did this initiative.
To archive the violation. She spoke about the revolution. Because it was ‑‑ Sudan was shut down. There was no Internet. There was nothing coming out. Those influencers all around, all the influencers, social media activists, or everyone that was concerned about what was happening in Sudan was sharing those videos. So we found an alternative way, but we need alternative way on the ground in Sudan. When this happened, directly documented, shared, archive it. Right away. From Sudan. While they shut down the Internet.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much.
>> I want to say something because of time.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: Thank you so much. I want each of us to take a few seconds. No more than ten. To tell us about what tool that got them through the pandemic. And how it came to be. As we wrap up. I will start with Jackie then come back clockwise.
>> JACKIE: Thank you so much for that. Before I address the question, I'd like to add to the points raised by lady from Sudan. I think one thing governments from Africa should know is Internet rights are inalienable. These rights are not provided to us by the governments. They're our rights and cannot be taken away from us. They don't get to enjoy when we should enjoy certain rights and when we should not enjoy them. This is a primary thing that needs to be known by this government. To your question, in Kenya, we don't have any Internet shutdowns. The Internet was not disrupted. So actually, there's no tool used during the pandemic. We just enjoyed free Internet in Kenya.
>> Thank you so much for your question. And I'd like to thank you for actually coming in and enlightening us on what's happening on the ground in Sudan. Can talk more about that. So for the tool that got me through the pandemic, quite a number, actually. Because I think for me it has to be the meeting, the tool that I used for meeting. Especially work, school as well. The meeting tools. Yeah. Thank you.
>> All right. Thank you. I'd like to thank you here for bringing up the issue. I was almost saying something about that. But, unfortunately, our time is out. But maybe just say that as already said, maybe this national engagement can be a solution to that. For example, in the UN, there's a Rapporteur on information, digital rights, something. Those can be options to explore. Even in the EU, there are specific sections that handle such kind of issues. Then the regional organisations. Yeah. Maybe those are options to explore. That's a discussion for another day. Talking about platforms that help me go through the pandemic. Meeting platform, definitely. And especially Zoom. Almost everything was on Zoom for me. Yeah. Thank you.
>> Mine was Zoom. That's about it.
>> Yeah. I don't take time. I think the platforms are multidimensional. So I'd say it was more or less the ability to learn on the go. That really helped. Because there were lots of platforms that really helped.
>> ARTHUR OYAKO: I want to thank you all for being such a great panel. I want to thank the audience as well for the great insights that they have brought to this conversation. I have been Arthur Oyako, your moderator for this session. I want to wish you all a pleasant day ahead.