Koliwe Majama

A Zimbabwean based media, internet and communications consultant


Guadalajara, Mexico. 6 – 9 December, 2016

View my Schedule for the event

Workshop An Internet of women by 2020

Activists and development workers shared successes and challenges they have faced over the past decade while trying to address the digital gender gap.  The conversation was hinged on the WSIS+10 review which set new targets for 2020. My reflections on the session and issues that I found interesting and worth carrying forward include:

The main issues and recommendations raised were as follows:

Workshop Local Content and sustainable growth

The workshop was coordinated by the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations. Its main objective was to understand the complexities of Internet video services  and in general their benefits to sustainable growth and local content production. Speakers included film and TV producers and independent content producers from Africa, Asia, and, Latin America. Participants discussed legislative, regulatory and economic realities and possibilities that could make local content industries significantly sustainable and contribute meaningfully to national and regional Gross Domestic Products, innovation and cultural diversity.

The main issues and recommendations raised were as follows:

Workshop – Encryption and safety of journalists in digital age

This workshop, which was organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), explored privacy and safety of journalists globally. It noted the developments and debates on surveillance and encryption among media stakeholders in the United Nations member states. Presenters emphasised the role that anonymity and encryption play in enabling the protection of privacy and freedom of expression of journalists and the protection of their sources and whistleblowers.

The main issues and recommendations raised were as follows:

Dynamic Coalition – Internet Rights and Principles

The roundtable discussion was organised by the Amnesty International and  attended by Human Rights experts, activists and Internet Services Provider(ISP) representatives. Presentations covered cyber harassment, censorship online with particular focus on social media.

The main issues and recommendations raised were as follows:

Workshop – Analysing the Causes and Impacts of Internet Shutdowns.

The workshop explored the causes and ground-level impacts of internet shutdowns with a view to uncover the motivations behind the measures, laws and policies that aide them.

The 5th African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) was held from 16 – 18 October 2016 in Durban, South Africa. The AfIGF brought together government representatives, the private sector, academia, technical community, civil society organisations and the media from over 30 African countries.

 The African School on Internet Governance

Pic: The Association of Progressive Communication

The AfIGF was preceded by the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) held 11-15 October 2016.  I was privileged to be a part of the class of 2016, whose dates were strategically planned to precede the AfIGF in order to enhance the learning experience of the 44 graduates who attended the school. As part of its practicum, the class of 2016, which I was privileged to be a part of came up with a statement with recommendations on intentional internet shutdowns which was presented at the AgIGF.

Internet shutdowns are the latest global phenomenon used by governments to ‘control’ citizen action. Globally over 50 internet shutdowns have been recorded for the year 2016. Africa has witnessed varied Internet shutdowns that range from total blackouts of access or targeted interruptions of popular social media platforms. The latest internet shutdowns on the continent include that of The Gambia imposed during the country elections, are Democratic Republic of Congo’s shutdown of social media applications, as the President Kabila’s term of office draws to a close. The reasons proffered for the shutdowns, are usually concerns of public disorder and national security during national elections. They are also used to censor citizens and control mobilisation during citizen-led protests. In some instances the shutdowns are government sanctioned, while in others as is the case with Zimbabwe, the shutdown is unaccounted for.

 Parallel session on Internet Rights

The session, which was organised by the Association of Progressive Communications, was an open discussion that focused on the African Declaration of Internet Rights and Freedoms and outlined digital rights trends on the continent

The following recommendations were submitted:

Connecting the next billion which role for Africa?

This panel discussion centered on how Africa can contribute meaningfully to the next one billion people to be connected to the internet. Panelists noted that the following issues were important in making a meaningful regional contribution:

National Internet Governance Forums

Currently the continent has thirteen National Internet Governance Forums (NIGFs)

For a fuller, detailed report visit AfIGF website.

 

 

 


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