Internet governance, and especially the protection of privacy and other human rights, is an important point for civil society activists and non-governmental organisations. For academia and innovators worldwide, Internet governance must make sure that the internet does not close its doors open for development and innovation.
Brilliant minds of tomorrow’s Gumzo, Kytabu, and Dawati are out there, somewhere, browsing the net. Their innovativeness should not be stifled; rather they should be encouraged to develop new, more creative ways to use the Internet.
The way the Internet is defined reflects different perspectives, approaches, and policy interests in Kenya. The differing perspectives and policy interests is a main factor as to why the Kenya Internet Governance forum exists. (KeIGF)
The relevance of Internet governance has slowly moved closer sustainable economic and social development. The KeIGF will host the Kenyan cyber spaces most important players so as to discuss Internet governance issues on an equal footing through an open and inclusive process.
The event will unfold virtually on the 29th of October. The participants will consist of 200 individuals representing various sectors including government, the private sector, civil society, the technical and academic community, and the general public. Also, the event will feature the participation of young people who will attend the Youth IGF.
The main outcome of the Kenya IGF is to maximise opportunities for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on Internet Governance (IG) related issues. Others include the creation of opportunities to share best practices and experiences; the identification of emerging issues and bringing them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public; and contribution to capacity building for Internet governance.
Further, the Kenya IGF will feature an award ceremony for the participants of the 5th edition of the Kenya School of Internet Governance (KESIG) which shall be held on 27th and 28th October 2020. The School is an initiative of KICTAnet and other partners, to promote awareness and knowledge of stakeholders in Kenya to enable them to contribute actively to Internet Governance.
Formed in 2005, KICTANet is a multi-stakeholder network of members from civil society groups, private sector, development partners, technical community and media. The network aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT sector in support of the government mission to enable Kenyans to gain maximum benefit from the opportunity offered by ICTs. They have been involved in organising the Kenya IGF in partnership with industry stakeholders to address key Internet issues since 2008.
KICTANet were acknowledged worldwide as a great model for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Multistakeholder engagement. Plus, they also played an instrumental role in the data protection bill. With regards to their collaboration to convene the KeIGF, “We ensure that we relentlessly discuss any new issues related to ICT policy, while at the same time continue to advocate for old issues until they are resolved.” Averred Mr. Ali Hussein, Chairman at KICTANet.
“Government policy formulation is a slow process. Small wins in policy formulations are better than stagnation. We cannot all get what we want, but small systematic changes are also progress we appreciate.” added Hussein.
As far as policy goes, the KeIGF will be held in an informal setting, free from binding negotiations, and it will create a unique platform for all stakeholders to openly exchange perspectives and concerns on key issues that may affect the future of the Internet for millions of Kenyans.
Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is one such organisation that has taken the reins to influencing internet governance processes. They are an international network of civil society organisations, founded in 1990 dedicated to empowering and supporting people working for peace, human rights, development and protection of the environment, through the strategic use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
They work to build a world in which all people have easy, equal and affordable access to the creative potential of ICTs to improve their lives and create more democratic and egalitarian societies.
APC’s strength lies in the fact that they do not get excited about the internet for the internet’s sake. They get excited because they are committed activists who want to use it to make the world a better place.
KICTANet collaborated with APC to make this annual event a success, and to help establish dialogue to shape the internet and digital technologies to create a just and sustainable world, leading to greater care for ourselves, each other and the earth.
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