The Economic Commission of Africa (ECA), in collaboration with Diplo Foundation and the Canadian e-Policy Resource Center (CEPRC), organized a five-day training workshop on Internet governance (IG) from 2 – 6 July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ITU and ICANN representatives attended the workshop.
Thanks to the high importance of Internet governance issue especially for developing countries, NTRA representatives will participated in this workshop.
The World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunisia in 2005 officially posed the question of Internet governance on the global Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) agenda. Participation in the global Internet governance debate represents a significant challenge for all countries, especially for African countries. Dealing with Internet governance issues in a comprehensive way requires multidisciplinary knowledge, as well as a unique blend of policy, legal and technical skills.
The Addis Ababa Internet Governance training workshop aimed to develop the skills and knowledge required to participate meaningfully in the global debate on ICT4D. It focused on ICT policy issues, main concepts in the field of Internet governance, the key issues and procedural aspects, e-Security and multi stakeholder participation.
Background on Internet Governance
During the first phase of the WSIS (Geneva-2003), the Working Group on Internet Governance was established with the purpose of making proposals on the issue of Internet Governance by 2005.
The WGIG came up with a working definition of Internet governance, as follows:
Internet governance is the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.
It defined several public policy issues of importance to Internet governance, chief among which are: administration of the root zone files and system, Interconnection cost, capacity-building, spam, meaningful participation in global policy development, Internet stability, security and cybercrime, allocation of domain names, IP addressing, multilingualism, freedom of expression, data protection and privacy rights, consumer rights, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
Moreover, the WGIG specified the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders: governments, private sector and civil society
The WGIG proposed the creation of a forum “the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)”, with the purpose of creating space for dialogue among all stakeholders, and with the full participation of developing countries. The forum is to handle Interface with intergovernmental bodies and other institutions on matters under their purview which are relevant to Internet governance, such as IPR, e-commerce, trade in services and Internet/telecommunications convergence. The forum is as well to identify emerging issues and bring them to the attention of the appropriate bodies and make recommendations and address issues that are not being dealt with elsewhere and make proposals for action, as appropriate. It is also within the scope of the forum to connect different bodies involved in Internet management where necessary, contribute to capacity-building for Internet governance for developing countries, drawing fully on local sources of knowledge and expertise and finally promote and assess on an ongoing basis the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet governance processes.