As the digital transformation surges like a tidal wave into every industry in Kenya, it brings with it debris. This debris, on the other hand, is monumentally impactful in the direction the country takes as it gears up to harness its newfound digital power. This debris is Internet governance.
Internet governance is a focal point in today’s world. Why? Because it encompasses the potential of the Internet for fostering sustainable human development and building inclusive knowledge societies, and also for enhancing the free flow of information and ideas throughout the world
Although Internet governance deals with the core of the digital world, governance cannot be handled with a digital-binary logic of true/false and good/bad. Instead, Internet governance demands many subtleties and shades of meaning and perception; it thus requires an analogue approach, covering a continuum of options and compromises.
The options, compromises and shades of how to register Kenyan internet challenges will be laid down bare at the upcoming Kenya Internet Governance Forum (KeIGF). The event will unfold virtually on 29 October.
The forum will be a multi-stakeholder event for policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance to the very detail. The forum will be held in an informal setting, free from binding negotiations. It will bring together all stakeholders from government, private sector, technical community, academia and civil society to discuss Internet governance issues on an equal footing through an open and inclusive process.
The proposed theme for this year’s Global IGF is Internet for Human Resilience and Solidarity.” Explaining the theme further was Ali Hussein, Chairman at KICTANet, “the theme represents the extraordinary role that the Internet has been playing during the pandemic. The resilience of the Internet as an interconnected, interoperable network has been a regular topic at the IGF,” he said. “In 2020, the IGF will approach network resilience specifically from a people-centred perspective, exploring how it has supported the human resilience and solidarity needed to respond to the many challenges posed by the pandemic,” continued Hussein.
When speaking about Internet governance and how it is tied to Kenyans’ rights, Hussein averred that, “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.” Hence why KeIGF is 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.
In the online world, trust is a prerequisite for the Internet to develop its potential as a tool for empowerment, a channel of free speech and an engine of economic development. In this context, trust relates to the security, stability, and resilience of the infrastructure, systems and devices, and also to the need for people to be safe and secure.
These are both vital elements for enabling a healthy and empowering digital environment, beneficial to all. This event will provide opportunities to discuss strategies and best practices for protecting both systems and users, along with the appropriate roles and responsibilities of governments, industry and other stakeholders, while taking into account multidisciplinary perspectives.
The event convener is KICTANet. 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.
The network aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT sector in support of the national aim of ICT enabled growth and development. KICTANet has collaborated with Communications Authority to make this annual event a success.
Communications Authority is charting out a well-planned blueprint to improve Kenya’s and Africa’s ability to leapfrog economic growth. The Authority is committed to enhancing the availability, quality, comparability, usability and relevance of data statistics, with a view to supporting evidence-based policy-making and decision-making.
With regards to internet governance, CA will be in a position to propose a practical framework for analysis, discussion, and resolution of significant issues in the field of internet governance.
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