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IGF 2020 - Day 9 - WS165 Unlocking the Digital Potential of the DLDC

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. 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 to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: We are going to start right now.  I would like to say good morning and good evening, everyone listening around the world.  And welcome to the 15th Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum on Internet for Human Resilience and Solidarity.  And to the Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance Workshop Number 165 titled: Unlocking a Digital Potential of Developing of the Least Developed Countries Part II.

Let me give you brief about this session.  This workshop will explore the digital potentials of developing, at least Developed Countries, in the post COVID‑19 era.  We are still in the COVID‑19 era which I believe we will overcome.  As one people working together.

The workshop will examine digital cooperation initiatives that encompass the industry technologies and related methods, such as smart manufacturing, environmental sustainability with meaningful connectivity.  The workshop also focus on the requisite of digital skills and tools necessary for sustainable development of the requisite labor and human capacities.

My name is a Jimson Olufuye, your Moderator for this workshop and Cordinator West African Internet Governance Forum also a member of the U.N. Internet Forum Government and Champion of Internet Governance Forum from the Civil Society.

Also supporting me is the Chairman International Center for Emerging Technology in Nigeria and Chairman of Data Analytics Privacy Technology and Board Member for African Technology and Services Alliance.

Also supporting is the AfiCTA Secretariat.  Before we move forward and considering the role that Ms. Marilyn Cade played in the information Internet Governance Forum.  The World Summit on Information Society with engagement the Internet Governance Support Association and the role she played in the establishment of Internet Corporation for Signed Names and Numbers and in the business constituency of ICANN itself, and also inspiration in regards to AfiCTA.  I'd like to call for a mini‑silence in honour of Marilyn Cade.

[ Moment of silence ]

May her soul rest in peace, amen.

>> PARTICIPANTS: Amen.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Once again welcome to Internet Workshop 165, Unlocking the Digital Potential of Developing and Least Developed Countries Part II.  We have a line up of distinguished speakers and in no particular order I will mention their names and profile will be posted in the chat.

We have Hossam Elgamal, the Private Sector of AfiCTA.  We have Melissa Sassi, Technical Community based in the U.S.

We have Dr. Kossi Amessinou, Director Ministry of Planning from the Government African Group.  We also have Jane Coffin, Senior Vice President Internet Group at the Internet Society Technical Community based in U.S.

Also with us is Kulesza Joanna Professor of International Law in Administration University of Lodz, Poland from Academy of Civil Society of Poland.  And we also have with us from Nigeria, Kossi Amessinou, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the (?) Information System representing also Government African Group.  Thank you.  We also have Mark Datysgeld CEO of Governance Primer and newly‑elected ICANN Councilor based in Brazil.  I don't know if (?) so the first part of this workshop took place last year and the report of these databanks available on the website ‑‑ I think the link will be posted so you can reference it permit me to do a recap of recommendations, a suggested way forward on the two policy questions last year.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Mary, if you can hear me please transfer host to Mr. Jalo and let me move ahead.  We have recommendations and the first was that government is encouraged to believe that they do not have all the fix.  They don't have it all to embrace multi‑stakeholder approach in all policy making and implementation effort.  That is the first cooperation among all stakeholders.

So the second point was that ICT sector should not be over taxed.  In essence, multiple taxation should be abolished as a priority.  We also recommended ease of doing business should be to attract direct investment.  It should be flexible, regulatory frameworks and also Number 5, that government should invest everything in the youth and the people in general.  In the policymakers should be well equipped to carry out their responsibilities.

It was also recommended that school curriculum should be revised as a matter of urgency.  Recommendation 7 was that focus be on the development of local solutions because the solution means that it is advised, continuing digital divide and locked digital potentials.  And Developing and Least Developed Countries should consider electricity as a critical infrastructural right for all citizens to guarantee access and relation of this Sustainable Development Goal 2030.  Recommendation 9 that collaborations should be enhanced across all sectors and the last recommendation is that regulatory institutions advised to transform by name and policy to unlock digital potentials for the benefit of their citizens.  For example, Telecommunication Authority can be transformed to Digital Society Authority.  We see this in Nigeria.  That's why Minister of Communication has been transformed to Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

Now to Part II of our workshop series.  So COVID‑19 pandemic led to the shutdown of many countries.  Important and ongoing discussion is led to global economy.  In this respect, two policy questions would be addressed.  And the policy questions are Number 1, how do we ensure that all stakeholder groups collaborate, prioritize and invest in the digital infrastructure and skills to mitigate similar challenges in the future?  The second question is, what strategies and policies needed to be in place, articulated and implemented to proactively develop in Least Developed Countries in the case of a similar occurrence and the adverse effect through the supply chain in Digital Economy.  Follow‑up question also in that second part is, how can a Developed and Least Developed Country develop digital initiatives to encompass technologies and related tools such as smart manufacturing, Internet affairs and environmental sustainability for the benefit of our citizens.  And job creation and the economic sustainability.

So we will go in two rounds, three minutes per speaker, so after the rounds we can have ample time for Q&A and get interaction.  It's now my pleasure to invite the Chairman of the Africa ICT Alliance and CEO of ICANN to provide his opening remark.  Please.

>> HOSSAM ELGAMAL: Thank you very much it is the pleasure of all members to organize this second session for IGF.  We are pleased to have all the distinguished speakers and participants with us.  As all of you know, AfiCTA has been established in 2012 and since then with the main founder Dr. Jimson, and now we have members from all over 30 countries from all over Africa representing different business associations and the SMEs and large companies.

It is really very important subject that we are discussing today where we really want to make sure that we are able to provide the best ecosystem and the Best Practices to the EAPs to benefit from the Internet and what we have seen during COVID time showed how much access is very important for everyone to benefit from the use of ICT in different sectors; education, health care, manufacturing, retail, e‑Commerce.

It is certain that countries that were able to capitalize on the investments they have done in Internet access and applications were able to move much better than countries that are still in need for this to happen.

I think it is very important to have such a session where we can discuss the potential of bringing together all the efforts to have a better working environment, to have a better access, to have better policies enabling such access and such application, to have better investment coming in to provide such opportunity, especially as there is a big market where not just the citizen will benefit but the governments will benefit and also businesses will benefit.

I wish all speakers for success in this session and let us move forward.  Thank you Dr. Jimson.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Excellent.  Thank you very much.  That is so key and it's critical.  Let me call on Melissa Sassi.

>> MELISSA SASSI: So, I think a lot of times we come to a variety of U.N. events, or other industry events, and we pontificate and we talk about policy.  And we failed to make it real and talk about how lack of technology skills and lack of access to the Internet is real.  I recently pivoted a lot of my work to not just focus on Melissa as the academic and researching and writing and understanding, to acting.

This year, one of the most exciting actions that I can think of that I personally have worked on with the Secretary of State from Cape Verde, and also saw really nice social media shoutouts from the Prime Minister of Cape Verde and the Vice Prime Minister, including the Secretary of State.  And we created a National Day of Code.  We came together to bring young people in a collaboration between the Private Sector, between the non‑profit sector, Academia, the start of the ecosystem and the entire public sector, as a Call to Action to say, come and figure out what this is all about.  And we brought two famous musicians to come and code with us.  And the whole concept was, come learn with us.  Come create with us.  Come change the world with us.  And what we did is we taught these two musicians the introductory building blocks of learning to code.  Okay maybe they didn't create a mobile application but what they did is they came in and inspired young people to explore the concept that anyone can learn technology.

It doesn't mean everyone will be an engineer but anyone can learn.  I'm in active conversations in Mozambique.  I'm in active conversations in other countries.  I would like to use this as a Call to Action to say, how can we create an International Day of Code?  A National Day of Code in your country.  I work at IBM and I head up Entrepreneur and Student Experience, and IBM will be your partner and help to bring content, curriculum, speakers, a platform, to help enable this because I think that it's not just about how do we reform policy, but how do we bring the tech‑sector together with all stakeholders to truly make a difference and look at it and say, all right, when are we doing this?  So Jimson and Hossam and others with me today, when are we doing this?  Because I'm ready.  If you give me a date, I'm ready to do a National Day of Code in every country across the planet.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Fantastic.  That is great.  Thank you very much for that.  I think we are going to take you up on that.  We will take you up on that.  Great.  Let me talk to Dr. Kossi Amessinou, Director of Minister of Planning in the Dominican Republic.  Dr. Kossi.

>> KOSSI AMESSINOU: Thank you.

[ Unstable Internet connection ]

We know also that every time government ‑‑

[ Unstable Internet connection ]

When we look at Civil Society, we need something private government to support to ‑‑

[ Unstable Internet connection ]

It's important to have support from government.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Very good.  So resources.  Talking about resources quite a challenge and people need to collaborate and cooperate to raise needed resources to be able to implement important development projects.  Thank you very much Dr. Kossi.  We know the Internet is quite challenging there but we tried to get the message.

Let me turn to Jane Coffin, Senior Advisor to the CEO.  Jane, over to you.

>> JANE COFFIN: Thank you very much.  And thank you to our colleagues today and I'm very pleased to be joining everyone here.  What I'm going to focus on are three of the things you mentioned and then weave in something that Melissa mentioned.  Flexible regulatory frameworks, taxation inclusion and real people.

We have seen under COVID, that connectivity, those of us involved in it for a long time in trying to deploy networks for better socioeconomic development, have seen that COVID is keeping us accountable for what we didn't get done.  And it now gives us an opportunity to help connect people faster and faster.  This means that we have got to take a look at these flexible regulatory frameworks and also add innovation and a little bit of agility.

Innovation and agility will help us loosen up licensing and make authorizations go faster.  We seen the need for speed when it comes to putting in fiber in certain cities, getting the authorizations in the rights of way and the trenching for fiber.  It means getting the authorizations for spectrum authorization  and Wi‑Fi ‑‑ maybe unlicensed spectrum.  Also, the old ways of regulatory working from the Teleco era and now into the Internet era, we need to have interconnection of small, medium‑sized networks.  We need financing for small, medium‑sized networks which means on the financing side, changing universal service funds.  This has to change because the old ways, the money is locked up and it's not getting out there to people.  And it's people that we are seeing under COVID who need to work from home, children need to be educated from home and we need to stay in touch with each other.  Seeing all of you gives me hope.  It's great to see you.  I'd love to be there in person but we need that social dynamic as well.

This is putting pressure on governments to get more done.  Taxation, putting strong taxes on equipment to build that Internet to allow people better opportunities only keeps it in jail a bit longer.  We seen equipment sit in customs warehouses for 3‑4 months.  Please urging governments.  This is no longer just a Ministry of Communications and regulatory body conversation.  You have got to have a whole of ministry discussion with the Prime Minister, Ministry of Education, with the customs authorities, because you're now responsible for helping your countries move forward and get connected.

Inclusion bringing business, Civil Society and the Technical Community for consultation.  We use the networks.  We have people like Melissa setting up Day of Code.  If you don't bring in these different perspectives, your innovation might be impacted.  So just to pitch again for more flexible and innovative regulatory frameworks.  We watch Ghana loosen up spectrum and the U.S.

We seen taxation come down on equipment.  Do this to help speed up the deployment of your infrastructure and for the betterment of your people.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Excellent.  Thank you so much.  The need for dynamic regulatory framework.  Very flexible regulatory framework.  Thank you very much for that.  And now to Professor Joanna Kulesza, Professor of International law.  Joanna.

>> JOANNA KULESZA:  Cool, cool thank you.  It's a pleasure to be here.  Apart from being an academic, I'm also involved with ICANN, the platform where we have the opportunity to first meet and start working together.  I appreciate the opportunity to be here because working both as policy activist and as an academic.  I see the silver lining of the pandemic we witnessed and the silver lining is fundamentally that we can no longer argue there isn't a right to Internet access or that Internet access is no longer of value.  What the pandemic has done is it emphasized that we do need cyberspace.  We do need the connectivity now and interventions from previous speakers who have emphasized how important connectivity is.

It is important when it comes to infrastructure and I welcome call toles provide reliable infrastructure and capacity building on the skills that are fundamental to keeping the network operational.  I would like to put a balancing emphasis on end‑users, individuals, humans, if you will, of that equation.  I believe that Developing Countries are in a unique position to prioritize, to humor the NGO perspective of these discussions.  It is a unique opportunity for us to look at the multi‑stakeholder model that is unique for the Internet, unique for cyberspace, and to quickly amend it to better meet our needs.

Now we can do it by approaching this challenge in a number of ways.  The first initial one I referred to is focusing on the individuals.  Now again, there is a body of work that focuses on the rights and obligations of individuals that is clearly something we can use.  But I think that the pandemic made us realize that we need to effectively break the silos.  We have been talking about this for so long and so many wonderful initiatives going on.  I welcome this discussion we are having because this is clearly a way for us to address that challenge.

We need to work together on common goals.  How do we do it?  I welcome the call for a universal day of code.  I think it's a very tangible real initiative we could pursue.  Let me put on the table in the same basket so to speak, an ITU initiative that focuses on balancing gender when is it comes to the on‑line activity.  ITU has a wonderful program called equals.  There are girls in ICT that ITU has been promoting for a while.  Developing Countries have been very active in that respect.  So I would point to that as one of the initiatives.  So make sure that the Internet gets developed where it needs to be introduced, so to speak, is based on this fair balance of genders and interests.

Another issue, and I welcome the reference and the first part of this workshop, the capacity building.  So in another research we might want to explore is capacity building when it comes not just to developing the network, but making sure that it is secure.  So just to give you a buzzword or hashtag, Cyber Security Capacity Building.  Now cybersecurity is quite broad.  It is about maintaining infrastructure secure.  This is where 5G comes in.

The Developing Countries will be able to learn from the lessons of those who need to make difficult choices about 5G infrastructure now.  Again you could see as silver lining.  There will already be a whole body of experience that comes with 5G and the equipment that will be purchased or introduced to provide for high speed networks.

Another element that falls into that is supporting platforms that coordinate regional capacity‑building efforts.  If I was to point to specific solutions, I would call to form a platform that we welcomed during this IGF here as well, that would be the Global Forum on CyberExpertise.  And interesting endeavor that is focused on training those that develop cybersecurity policies.  Again, deriving from experiences we already have in other areas of the world.  But to make sure the Developing Countries do not need to force open doors.  There is expertise to be used and I'm happy to provide more details during the focused session on the Civil Portal.

So I'm a strong believer in capacity building.  I'm a strong believer in looking into interests and balancing those the best that we can.  I believe in infrastructure keeping it secure but also believe in the soft skills.  Regional efforts.  Thank you.  I'll stop here.  Thank you very much.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Thank you very much.  We are going to have a second round and before we get to that second round, we will take this first round and I would like to call on Dr. Jalo.

>> ISA IBRAHIM JALO: I'm happy to be part of this forum.  My organization I must say, is a success story in terms of administration, technology agency that we have worked over the years to build in terms of building a special digital infrastructure for the institute.  As we all know, Abuja is Africa's new city center as the capital of Nigeria now.  And the government moved in 1991.  And we started the computerization as soon as ‑‑ It's a world city and we succeeded in building the necessary infrastructure that is needed to make world classic and technical infrastructure had to become into the accord because you need the GIAs to be able to manage the city itself.

Now because of this success story all the states in the federation right now have embraced GIAs and technology.  Equally during COVID‑19, we had to change our technology and upgrade from the desktop environment to web‑based system.  And this we did with our Partners in South Africa and using the local stuff that we have, we were able to do this successfully using digital platform.  This is made possible because of the heavy investment of the 3G and 4G infrastructure that has been done and because of also the fiber optic connect activity we have, we were able to do this upgrades.

We did this from desktop because we need to collaborate with other departments and agencies of the FCT.  And we realized through the COVID‑19 that we cannot move physical fights from one location to another.  We had to weigh content.  So because of that, we had to also focus on building the web‑based system which we successfully did.

So the other departments who are able to deliver information through the web‑based system, we had to also establish a connectivity fiber because of limitations and because of that, we became very efficient in terms of the sciences we develop.  And we equally also had to provide services on line to our customers because we are the front end in this administration.

This has also contributed in terms of revenue we collect and we have been able to sustain, which is also very critical for the day‑to‑day management of the city.  And I must say that we are quite successful to the taxation agency in terms of revenue in the cities, government revenue in millions of dollars.

Because we tried to innovate and tried as much as possible to use technology, we have been able to ensure that revenue comes into the coughers of the Federal Government.  And we are hoping by January 1, we are going to go full all services on line and we have to also integrate our back‑end services with the front end.  However, those services have to come forward to be present to deliver.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Let us go to the second question.

>> MARY UDUMA: No questions yet.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: What strategies and policies need to be articulated to approximately prepare developing Least Developed Countries in the case of a similar reoccurrence?  Flexibility for regulation both specifically what area of regulation are we looking at?

>> MELISSA SASSI: I think that the biggest ‑‑ and by the way, my dog says hi.  She is joining us today.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Okay.

>> MELISSA SASSI: The world changed since the last time in Berlin.  My children live in Tunisia and they have sporadically been in school.  Sporadically.  And they are impacted by school closures due to COVID.  And they have been asking me, mom, what can we do?  What can we learn?  I feel like we should learn something.  I don't think I should be on TicToc every day.  I'm thankful my kids come to me and ask me, mom, what can I learn?  What can I do?  Is how can we empower young people with real practical skills, will informal or formal and think about young people at the centre and think about for youth, by youth and with youth.  Especially in Africa, when you think about how many young people make up the population.  And if you look across all of our government entities across the planet, what is the number of ‑‑ the age or number of years of experience?  And what are we all doing to make sure that youth is at the centre?  One of the things that I really enjoy about Internet Society, for example, is their Ambassador program that brings young people together to learn practical skills to, take those back into their communities.

In my role I often have Atlas fellows from an organization called Atlas Core run by Scott Field.  And they identify up‑and‑coming leaders to provide them with experience and working at companies like IBM or Microsoft or others.  And the idea is they come and it's on line or in person and they spend a year to a year and‑a‑half learning practical skills and then taking those skills and bringing them back home so that it's not just about how does Silicon Valley bring something to you, but how are young people in individual countries challenged with looking at what is the problem I'm trying to solve?  Because ultimately when we are talking about technology, it's about problem‑solving, engineering or data science or a developer.  It's all about how are you solving a big wicked problem?  And how are you doing that with technology?  If our young people don't have access to practical skills, it's very difficult for them to make real true meaningful use of the Internet.  I'm talking about also injecting entrepreneurial spirit and critical thinking and problem‑solving, creativity and innovation.  So when we are talking about supply chain or health tech or insure tech, IOT, whatever it is, really putting youth at the centre and thinking about what are those problems they can solve, and giving them opportunities and a real voice, a voice that can drive impact.

I think all of us, collectively need to do a better job of incorporating that concept of design thinking.  How do we bring our audience, how do we bring all people to enable them to have a seat at the table?  And again, do National Days of Code.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Great.  So you already have full support for that.

>> MELISSA SASSI: That was my goal for today, among many other things, but thank you.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Great.  Design thinking.  Thank you very much.  Dr. Kossi, are you there?

>> KOSSI AMESSINOU: Yes, I'm here.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: So what policy framework are you working on to enhance your ability to be able to get funding?

>> KOSSI AMESSINOU: Yes, getting funding is important but when we talk about strategy in SDG area it's important to know that Internet is not programmed for one context.  In Developing Country and poor country, when we are talking about strategy in digital area, we are some dynamic ‑‑ we are going to make something for country.  It's not better every time.  It's not better every time.

When we look at Africa region, for example, we have one big strategy for all of Africa.  Africa Commission put on the table with the aspect on the continent, the African Digital Transformation Strategy, for, 2020‑2030.  That is very big.  Where every African country, every African industry must put hat on and make their job quickly taking in the way one route.  We need to contribute to a development in 2030.

It's not been good to have Africa outside the challenge.  It is important for us to bring all the people to that strategy and work on that in each of our countries.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Great.  Yes, so what you say is that we have strategies in place already like the SDG so we just need to work at it.  And then as a Digital Transformation for Africa we want by 2063, so we should really pay more attention to that.  Thank you for calling our attention to that Kossi.  Jane, over to you.

>> JANE COFFIN: On the topic of strategies and policies and funding has to get better and more agile and be done not just at the high International institution level of billions and millions, but smaller amounts of money that small and medium‑sized enterprises can digest and use for sustainability and get more money but to show that they can move forward.

So again, universal service and change in financing, licensing and more agility on licensing and thinking about authorizations for technology and for development of networks, making it faster so that people can deploy networks more quickly.  Spectrum more innovative use of spectrum.  Shared use, secondary yews and direct allocation that is can be made.  We have to move quickly to try and help get more agile and collaborative and cooperative and community‑based networks out there as well.  So picture community networks.  And if you're talking about supply chain, it's back to your point about clarity and information for businesses.  How to do business the ease of doing business, and just simple information so that businesses can get started and know what to do and where to go in government agencies.  It's really important.  Maybe centralized website.  So that supply chain isn't a question.

Thank you for the shout out to the Ambassadors.  It's so important for us to have youth along with us to inform us, keep us agile and also to learn more and to help us stay fresh.  So I think that is something.  And by the way, I think we can support, we hope, I can't speak for the chapters, but we'll pass along the day of code idea and perhaps you can work with some of our chapters to get that done.

>> MELISSA SASSI: I would love that.  I'm happy to coordinate that.  Before we end, I'll share another opportunity for engagement as well and I got some other exciting stuff too.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Jane, let me follow up with you quickly.  You're talking about infrastructure.  I didn't hear you talk about security.  What are you doing to have security level?

>> JANE COFFIN: We have lots of promotion.  We have a Global Coalition right now on encryption.  So if others want to join us on promoting end‑to‑end encryption, this is highly important.  I'm going to make a shout out to my colleague, Joseph Hall, the other Senior Vice President for our project work and the team have a coalition that anyone can join on end‑to‑end encryption.  We also have mutually‑agreed norms for writing security for the Internet Service Providers out there, content delivery networks and others.  If you would like to join us in the Manners Programs, we would love to have you join us with certain principles based on secure routing.  Secured routing is very important and essential for your country.  So those are two things we can actively have you join.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: So can you post the link in the chat?  If there is.  If not, let us know later.

>> JANE COFFIN: Yes, sir, I'll put it there now.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Yes, I had the privilege of being at the U.N. Working Group that is the Commission for Science and Technology and Development Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation on International Public Policy matters related to the Internet.  And we talk about yes, capacity, but this time around it focused more capacity development, talking about capacity development.  In line with the systemic development goal so they use the term capacity development.  So in line with development goal.  So what do you think about that kind of phrasing?  Is it capacity building, but 2030, is for developing countries mostly.  You think it makes sense to really streamline that kind of transformative language among your innovation?  Please go ahead.

>> KULESZA JOANNA: Thank you.  I believe it is very relevant ‑‑ cool, cool. I believe we better meet the needs of Developing Countries.  So the U.N. and policies surrounded since we are speaking about cybersecurity, there clearly are current efforts both on the intergovernmental and the multi‑stakeholder level that address the need to advance capacity building and form development when it comes to cybersecurity.  However, to be more specific, just to address the concerns you have been talking  about ‑‑ and I welcome all the suggestions and the feedback ‑‑ when we are looking for targeted approaches, addressing the Developing Countries.  I have mentioned the GOC.  I'm going to do it again because they are right now launching a call for research projects that focus on capacity building and cybersecurity.  It might be something you might be interested in and I'm happy to share details.  Wearing the European hat, let me highlight there are big resources being put on the table by the European Commission both on research and capacity building doing Academia would be focused on the Horizon 2020 and the next research program that is just around the corner.

So if there is need for funding in terms of capacity building, I believe that there are office to pursue and Developing Countries would be the usual suspects to funnel that funding in terms of not just infrastructure, but also the soft skills.  I'm going to stop here but I'm happy to specify the details of this.  Thank you very much.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Thank you very much.  We would like to tap into that definitely the project for capacity development.  We look forward to that.  So following up on that, I'm sure the Chairman is ready and grinning.  That is a good one.  They might chip in on that when they are making their summary.  Next will be Dr. Jalo.  Are you working on some specific policy?  What you are doing for sustainability?  And do you plan to begin Internet of Things to play with regards to your record system?

>> ISA IBRAHIM JALO: Jimson, I must say that that is already a policy on the Digital Economy that was developed by the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.  And we are leveraging on that.  Equally also, this new spacial data infrastructure that we are rolling out at the moment which will go full blast in 2021, has that interface that will accommodate data from Internet of Things.  Already this year, we are starting working with the pattern of road traffic.  We are doing a study to study the locations of all the traffic lights in the city and we intend to deploy sensors to gather data on traffic, which is very critical as we are aware that traffic management in the city is an issue.

So we also intend to liberate on the 4G technology, wireless technology that is available in the city.  So we can now pick up this data and also use this technology, most of the traffic lights are being powered by solar.  And so we intend to gather this data and then deposit it in our warehouse already, have subscribe to technology platform, we signed with Microsoft so we are hoping we are going to do that.

Equally also, the CCTV's in area security infrastructure we acquired right now will be able to accommodate the deployment of CCTV on the infrastructure as well, so it's just to develop the system and have an integration CCTV.  We already have a pilot in our office and there is also an access in deployment within our Secretariat which we intend to do as a pilot.

Equally, also, we have other areas that we are working in terms of, this is the environment also.  We are also working with the Environmental Agency to be able to see how we can now work together to work on the issue of management and also to be able to deploy environmental sensors that will monitor the environment in the entire city.  This is what we are doing in that direction.

I'm also aware that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy just recently ‑‑ there was (?) they are working towards establishing the exist expense is identity.  And Chairman I'm sure you're aware of that.  This is something that is ongoing, like I said, we are a key stakeholder.  We are at the centre of the development of the city in which the blueprint was earlier, so two years back, was developed by IBM.

Provided the funding for that development.  And my agency is at the centre of the infrastructure for this city and we are of course on that.  Thank you.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Great.  I can see Melissa grinning there.

>> MELISSA SASSI: I was getting gel when you say he was talking about Microsoft and I was wondering if he was going to start talking about IBM.  So now I'm not jealous anymore.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Leverage on what information is there.  No wonder ICT is going to put in more 10% to Nigeria's GDP.  It's like if things are correctly, we will come about progress which is commendable.  But there is a question in the question room.  So maybe you may take that up when we get to the next slide.

Mark, tell me, do we have everybody uncovered when it comings to banking?  Do we have everybody covered?  We need technology.

>> MARK DATYSGELD: So unfortunately, we don't and the thing was, and this was what was scary, when the pandemic hit and we have an emergency payment was approved to keep people afloat somehow, then you have this situation in which the distribution is being done in agencies and public agencies and people have to crowd in the same space at the same time to receive the stimulus that is supposed to help them not be sick.

It's the situation in which when you look at it, you see how us from the developing world, we still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of how do we protect our own people in a situation like this?  How do we make sure that we have a structure?  We don't need to have the structure the same as a developed country.  We don't.  We can make our own way.  I'm a big believer in that.  But certain things, we need to be on par with them and when I saw that to me, that was the first sign of, okay, we have some ‑‑ somethings are more prior Terry than others.  Because if you look at the situation of how everybody has been affected by this crisis, you will see that of course, the developing world is the one we end up suffering the most in the long run.

There is no way of getting around that.  And how do we compete?  And when I think about that, I think about the work that we have been doing in terms of informing technology companies here in Brazil.  My consultancy, we have been working with small and medium enterprises and trying our best to make them aware of what is going on in terms ever the global technologies.

So we try to bring this information in a way that makes sense, and in a way it is not too technical as well.  Often you are talking to people who are entrepreneurs, not necessarily from the technology area, even though they do technology, which is interesting.  So you have to find ways to make it interesting.

So we are currently working a lot with IOT.  That is the next big subject, I guess in a lot of ways.  And how do you explain that without making it A, boring, B, hard to understand?  So we do a lot of videos, images, we make simulations.  We take the devices themselves to show them to people.  I'm going click this one and it will activate that one.

I think that if we want everyone to catch‑up, we also need to sort of step down from our high horse.  We are all people very involved in tech.  We try to understand this, right?  We really love this.  But not everybody has to be as passionate as us, right?  How do we make it nice for people to understand it and maybe they don't need love it at much as we do.  Maybe just have a fresh look at it.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: It is a challenge.  So we are continuing to make a lot of efforts to bring in everybody to the benefit of the information age.  Thank you very much.  We completed two rounds.  And as we are going to ‑‑

>> MARY UDUMA: There is a question already.

[ Multiple Speakers ]

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Can you read it out, please?

>> MARY UDUMA: This is from (?) it says ‑‑ the future of technology, which I believe rely on digital identity.  The question is, how do Africa and other under Developed Countries handle the issue of lack of digital identity, which I believe is a common challenge to most African countries?  To support us?

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: It's a very demand question.  Very good question because without that data, you can not really get much done when it comes to e‑Commerce.  And when it comes Information Society.  So, government, Dr. Isa what are you doing about it?

>> ISA IBRAHIM JALO: For me, it boils down to the issue of regulation, the necessary framework that will now enforce that everybody should acquire the digital identity.  And also to make the digital identity easy for people to acquire.  This is very critical.  And the issue of infrastructure was discussed earlier.  If you don't have the necessary infrastructure to allow, create and enable the environment for citizens to acquire the digital ‑‑ it becomes a problem.

Then the issue of security, security is very, very critical.  How do you create security around the digital identity?  And also for people to be aware because individuals are vulnerable.  They can share their digital identity if they don't know how to make good use of it.  That's my contribution.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Very good.  Very good.  So digital regulation.  Issue of (?) I think Nigerian Government and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy they aligned their work scope to bring in National Identity Commission into their per view and as we mentioned, as they say, realignment to focus more on the digital identity.  So there is new orientation and direction and we will see the effect.  Kossi, what are you doing in that?  Can you respond to the question as well?

>> KOSSI AMESSINOU: Yes.  Digital identity is important.  Every government in the West Africa know that.  You have one project (?) for all of our region in West Africa helping us to put in our country in our different countries, the digital identity for people.  We have some funds for that.  The project called (?) WULI.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE:  W‑U‑L‑I right?

>> KOSSI AMESSINOU: That's right.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: It's very important.  We mentioned something last year that is good for to do peer review.  Taking from the implement project it's good to check what your neighbor is doing, maybe Ghana, maybe Nigeria and Brazil is also what they are doing.  So it's good to ask around so that we do not make any mistake in implementation and then learn from the experience of others.

Let me bring in the Chair with regard to government.  So identity in regards to unlocking the development potential of Internet.

>> HOSSAM ELGAMAL: We have been working on digital identity, I think, since 2009.  The issue is related and then as three companies providing services for this.  Unfortunately since then and with what happened to now, it did not become that much, except within the government itself.  So we have digital signature, digital identity within the government.  Still for normal citizen, they are still doing it on the development and for specific goods.  But it showed what interesting and I think that a year ago we started with a new program for financial inclusion and with this program, they are starting to enforce digital identity for everyone so that we have cashless transactions everywhere, which would minimize corruption, all of that, and would also increase and improve cash flow for different organizations.  So this is for the ‑‑

I just wanted to add if I may, along with other ‑‑ regarding capacity building.  We talked a little bit about industry for technology solutions.  And I think what we need currently is to have more and more national programs for transformational training and especially on the level of vocational training.  As jobs are shifting with the new technologies coming in, so people working in factories, people working in retail.  People working in many industries will not have the same skill set required anymore.  And this we need to prepare properly our countries.  Otherwise we will really have ‑‑ we will lose jobs.  So we have to focus on transformation programs on March 11.  We are starting a program here with the Minister of Manpower on different government entities to help people start choosing systems and people using cybersecurity for OT, operating technologies.  People using design solutions and such.

It showed that it is more and more important for this ‑‑ it's not anymore the future.  It is the current situation to be ready for it.  And I may add only one other point.  Is that we have it here and we are looking at the government and it is related to the evaluation of R&D copyright.  Unfortunately, when we are more and more encouraging and people to go and make social development, especially in technology side, because this is the future, it is not valued in the products.  And this is clearly identified in manufacturing, et cetera, where when you just develop a new product do not include (?) the part of R&D into it, which is something, unfortunately, is not helping moving more and more into innovation.  So we need more policies that would encourage evaluation of R&D and the copyright of it as well.  Because where we are moving in the future, it is no longer only access and IT.  But it's the merge of control, IT, manufacturing and all of that and we need to be ready for it.  Thank you.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Yes.  Very right.  We really need to be ready.  And in this regard, security is so important.  I don't know if (?) is there.  Has been involved with the review of the Nigeria policy and strategy.  So what do you see with aspect to cybersecurity as we move forward in industry?

>> OLUSEGUN OLUGBILE: Thank you, Mr. Moderator.  I'm glad you made mention of the security in Africa.  One of the key things that Nigerian governments has done, Nigerian government is (?) essential.  Ambassador of Security and (?) right now the measures now, National Policy on Cybersecurity for 2020.  Now what that what is Nigeria is not just going to recognize that sector and then that will be (?) encouraging to move into ‑‑ invest in this area.

Another thing I will share is Nigerian ‑‑ the country has also developed some capabilities in the areas of computer emergency response.  What we are doing now is to enhance what has already been done, to take it from where we started from and ‑‑ what we are going.  Let me make mention of something.  I think right now Nigeria is looking at how to mainstream industrial ‑‑ especially in the context of the vaccine and the youth issues in the country.  I think it is essential to start to begin to look at how cybersecurity ‑‑ how the skill can be built into the ministry and then we can begin to build a foundation that is needed to empower our country.  Thank you.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: So you mean in the curriculum?

>> OLUSEGUN OLUGBILE: Yes apart from the school setting, the country has policy in which, before anyone can be employed in Internet services, they have a minimum digital skills which has been mainstreamed into the (?) not only that, if we teach training before you can become a teacher in Nigeria, I'm aware that we have embedded a policy in which every teacher now has to passthrough some level of skill.  We are not talking about computer competencies.  We are talking about doing their work fully.  So across the sector we have that going on.

>> JIMSON OLUFUYE: Very good.  And I would like to note indeed that the Nigerian government has involved a master plan and with that master plan ‑‑ I think there is an echo somewhere.  Can we mute our lines?  So the master plan and with the government master plan they are trying to bring onboard number of governments to ‑‑ can you mute your line, please, sir?  There is echo coming from the line.

Apart from this, there are a number of executive orders that mandated the ministries, departments, and agencies to automate and to bring onboard on to the Internet their services so that government citizens do not need to travel far to use government services.  So I think this is something we believe to be perfectly implemented as the Prime Minister is doing a good job thus far along with his team.

So Thabo, what is it like in South Africa in regards to supply chain?  The COVID issue and their supply chain, inflation and what have you?  So how do we tackle this issue going forward?  What are your recommendations thus far?

>> THABO MASH: Thank you, for that.  If I can start especially in regards to COVID‑19 itself what it has presented us.  It's a crisis that fortunately we did not let go to waste.  From the perspective that it actually gave a lot of different stakeholders and interests, a common why.  So you see a lot of people who usually didn't necessarily come together and actually work together without any financial interest.  So they actually came together.  You saw that a lot in this era.

And I think what is happening is now we have become deliberate in trying to define this why and to define this goal that is compounding for us to be able to adopt today the digital initiatives and for us to be able to work together.  So in South Africa, what do we also realize we saw a lot of changes that have happened.  So changes from the education front and yet minister is speaking about disruption in the education.  So there was a lot of disruptions that happened and we saw schools trying to respond in a myriad of ways and the government also trying to weigh in on the problem since we have the challenge with Internet connectivity and data not being as an affordable thing as well as devices not necessarily if you want to have access to devices.

While private schools they have gone that direction of using platforms such as teams, using Google Classroom and Zoom and all that.  Government tried to implement it using the television and network itself.  So it was not now direct one‑to‑one type of a approach, however they were trying to breach this gap.  They even brought in some celebrities that kids are used to.  I hear somebody speaking about some musicians being invited.  So almost the same thinking that was put here for teenagers and this work is excited to start watching these programs which we are trying.

 

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