African IGF Open Forum
20 December 2017 - A Open Forum on in Geneve,Switzerland
>> Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to start the African IGF Open Forum which will be moderated by Christine, the Editing Director of Telecom Services and Branding at the National Telecom Regulatory Agency of Egypt. She's the chairperson of the African IGF, and the last one was held under the support of her organization. She's been working for over 25 years in areas of Internet development and well‑known in the AIG arena around the world.
Christine, you have the floor.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you very much.
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for coming today. It shows, indeed, the interest in Africa for the African IGF, and so we're very happy today. We're going to have a great panel. I have great colleagues on my right and left, and we'll present on the various activities in the region. I'll present each one of them at their turn and we'll make sure to have ‑‑ we started late, but at least maybe 20 minutes of questions and answers or maybe a bit less as time goes on.
Maybe I will start right away with the presentation on the African Internet Governance Forum, the 6th African Internet Governance Forum which took place just two weeks ago in Egypt. It was organized by the AUC and it was hosted by Egypt. It wasn't just one event, but a cluster of events which was enriching to participants so some could come earlier and attend.
We had the African School on Internet Governance which was from November 28th through the 2nd of December, and I'm not sure if we have ‑‑ they had 30 youngsters from Africa who engaged in a good discussion through the days. After that, we launched the African IGF, and we had meetings and my colleague will present on that later. We had three marvelous days of discussions among African colleagues on the African IGF.
In terms of participation, we had 314 participants from 37 countries.
Gender balance, as you see, was very good. So 37% males, 43 females. Next time I hope 50/50.
In terms of stakeholder participation, it was fairly well distributed as you can see.
I'm going to go quickly so everybody has the time to present as well.
The main theme of the program was enabling inclusive digital transformation of Africa. We had 13 main sessions and 8 parallel sessions. Main sessions were prepared by the program committee and the parallel sessions were held by different stakeholders.
We started off with a session for newcomers and an induction session, and then we were honored to have the high‑level opening by Her Excellency of the AUC and a high-level representative of the Minister of ICT Egypt, and it was followed with a high‑level discussion that had Ambassadors and ex‑Ministers of Foreign Affairs as keynote, and then thematic discussions were very diverse. There were sessions on Internet economy, on digital transformation and labor, on cybersecurity for development and for peace. We had a very interesting session on new technologies and emerging issues where blockchain and Cloud computing were discussed.
There was also a highlight of the meeting, it was the review of the African IGF charter, and we'll come to that later. I believe also during the session, and then a session on the various national and subregional initiatives and we have many of those in Africa. There was also a session on DNS, on Africa and then on the African Union Declaration on the Internet Governance and recommendations from last year and this year and the closing, of course.
Next ‑‑ I won't go through the parallel sessions. You see how diverse they were from the list. They were clearly reflecting the needs of the African stakeholders.
I think a major highlight was the adoption of the African IGF charter which ensures enhanced sustainability for the process, but also many topics that clearly reflect what is needed for Internet Governance in the region. And I will take a few of those ‑‑ that's not the full thing, you can go to the website and read the full report. It is still in draft, but it will be finalized.
Many interesting topics on eCommerce, on engagement of governments, capacity building, of course.
On diversity of content, cybersecurity, major issue discussed, so on, so forth.
The information is available online. You can check photos of the event, and most importantly, the outcome document and all of the different discussions that had occurred in the days of the meeting.
The African IGF next year is in Sudan. We are enthusiastic and happy to go there.
Last but not least is the thank you to all different people that have supported to make this a great success.
I'm sorry to be quick. I know we're on very tight schedule.
I'll start right away with the next speaker.
I'm lucky to give the floor to Mary Uduma. Mary Uduma is the Chair of the African IGF Charter Working Group and coordinator of the West African IGF.
You have the floor, please.
>> MARY UDUMA: Thank you very much. I don't know how many of you have visited the website since the 20th of ‑‑ okay.
You see the chatter on the website. Please go to the website and read. We're structured now. The African IGF is well‑structured. There is no question about surprises.
The aspect I want to look at is the process itself. The process is divided into the annual meeting, we recommended a nomcom that would select the IGF multistakeholder that will manage the process.
In 4.2 of the charter they said there would be a number indicating Committee and they say composition of the NomCom and that the AIGF nominating Committee is having the roles and functions there, please, I need you to read this.
So, the NomCom is now selecting a multistakeholder advisory Committee that's running the affairs in conjunction or collaboration with the Host Country like going to Sudan, it will be then Rwanda. It is the Secretariat that will announce to us. We have said that it will happen in the year we announce the NomCom, the NomCom will announce it and select the advisory Committee. In order not to waste our time, I advise and encourage you to go to the website and see what we have adopted. We're well‑structured now and whatever we're doing, this will be our guiding principle.
That's where I'll stop. I'll give room to you to tell us more about the announcement of the NomCom, the function. The role of the African IGF nominating Committee, NomCom, is to appoint members among candidates from all African countries for a period of two years. Those people that work for two years, and another two years and you rotate as much as possible, we want every stakeholder in Africa. I'm happy to see this number of Africans in IGF. This is very, very encouraging. Also reflected in the African IGF, it was really encouraging, the number of people that came to Egypt.
Please, we're here, over to Makane.
Or back to you. Sorry. To Christy.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you very much.
I don't know, would you like to add on the chat or something or not now?
>> MAKANE FAYE: Later on.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Later on.
The next speaker will be the chairperson of the North African IGF ‑‑ sorry.
He is the Chairman of the North African Multistakeholder Advisory Group, he was actually behind all activities of the North African IGF since it started and it started a while ago. Please, the floor is yours.
>> PANELIST: Thank you, Christine.
It is still in North Africa, but for the North African IGF it is composed of 7 countries, starting from Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and we have the 7 countries of the North African IGF.
As you know, also we're ‑‑ we have mainly four languages used in our region. Also we're multicultured region.
The North African IGF has been created in line with the African IGF. The African IGF was created, it has been the initiative, it has been taken in 2012 to have the North African IGF, and we have taken time to prepare with a small group of experts to prepare the charter, the North African IGF charter which has been adopted in Marrakech in 2016 together with the designation of NomCom members that took also the responsibility to designate 22 MAG members. Based on that, we have initiated the preparation of the North African IGF and we need to have it in Egypt back‑to‑back with the African IGF.
We have been able to cover some issues concerning the North African region as far as Internet Governance is concerned, and we have addressed some outputs concerning the future of the North African IGF for the next year and decided to continue, of course, working in order to achieve our objectives, but also we decided to recommend all the 7 Member States to try to create their national IGFs and we'll be ready to help the countries if ever they need.
We decided also to extend our relations with the Arab region, the Arab IGF, and you know that the North African region is between Africa and the Arab region, that's why it is quite logical to have the North African IGF working together with the Arab IGF as well as the African IGF. Finally, we decided to have our next ‑‑ for the sake of continuity ‑‑ to have our next IGF, not African IGF meeting, in Tunisia next year. We're planning to plan as earlier as possible the preparation of this event.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you very much.
Before I turn to the next speaker, I will give you some heads‑up that we during our discussion, it would be interesting also to hear from you on any national involvement at any national, subregional initiatives or also priority that you think are important for the African region as a whole.
Our next speaker will be Adil Sulieman. Adil Sulieman is senior ICT officer at the African Union and I would like to ask him to give us feedback on the process, on the charter, maybe on the declaration as well.
>> ADIL SULIEMAN: Thank you, Christine.
Before I start, I would like to ask you to stand up. Please stand up, Christine.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I will stand up.
>> ADIL SULIEMAN: Give them a round of applause.
I think there's an expectation, and they raised the bar for everybody to come and they made life difficult for Sudan to duplicate. It will be very difficult to do that.
We thank you.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: It will be a great event, and we're here to support next year if needed.
>> ADIL SULIEMAN: I'll talk about process structures issues, participation hosting, budget, expected outcome and the way forward.
With regard to participation: It is open for everybody. You have seen the gender. We're trying to make it gender balanced as much as we can. And also among the five regions in Africa, we're trying to get representation from the five region, African region, and the youth as well.
There is one issue in terms of participation, we will take ‑‑ you know, the situation in the world is changing. Countries before going to Egypt ‑‑ there was a terrorist attack in Egypt. You can imagine the situation in Egypt. People, they take it for granted. I think that the experience, it was not a good experience. People, they had visa on arrival there, because there is the headquarters of the African nation provisions, but that leverages visa on arrival and that's not the case moving forward.
In Sudan, the visa is issued, it is taken care of because we have situation where we wished a ticket to participants, but then they told us later on they didn't have visas. Make sure that the visa situation, you know, given the situation in the world, that it is taken care of before.
With regard to hosting, this is a huge issue for us. The process is very long to finalize the commitment with the host country. This is why we're also maybe facing the visa issues, because when we announce, it is a four‑day event. We're learning from this experience, and now we have Sudan and everybody knows the next meeting will be in Sudan. Please take care of your visas and make sure that you have everything in place.
The dates, we haven't set up the dates. We're speaking to Sudan, most likely between June and September. We're trying to make it early this time around just to make sure that we have it way before the IGF because the last one is almost two weeks before IGF and it was difficult.
With regard to budget: In terms of budget, we have very limited budget. We called on three institutions to get sponsorship. Let us know. Once you're a sponsor, this is a place for somebody else that could not afford to be travel on their own to be sponsored. We have limited budget as I said. You can also go to the organization, UNESCO, ISOC, I think they were helping us, ICANN, they were helping us, we don't need money from the organization, as long as they can sponsor people, tickets, their accommodation, we're happy, because the AU rules in terms of receiving money is very complicated. We prefer that you speak to your institution, get a sponsorship or get the sponsorship through the international organization and let us know because we're going to remove your name from the list and include somebody else who can afford to be in the meeting.
In terms of the outcome, expected outcome, we have very interesting discussion about outcomes, what are the scenarios, should we just get some recommendations and then just let the communities take the recommendation and try to implement the government, Civil Society, so forth, or what can we do, have very few items, focus on those items and then we can deep dive on the items and get relevant, strong recommendations or do we follow the IGF path. You have the Working Group working, like for instance from Sudan to the next one and then on the subject and you come up with a paper on that. This is just an item for discussion because we wanted to have something tangible coming out of the African IGF.
You know, we have spoken about the outcomes, the charter, and we have also the declaration on Internet Governance and I think this is a true example of multistakeholder in action. We started this draft declaration, and if you remember, it was a one‑page document and now I think it is almost ‑‑ it is a big document now, 42 it items on the declaration.
This is a multistakeholder, because it started from the community, it went all the way up to the decision making and the policymaker and last month the African Minister of ICT adopted the document and I think that we all deserve a round of applause.
Therefore, we have Sudan coming up in 2018 and we would like to have this upfront for 2019, I don't know if someone will say 2019 will be on us. We would like to finalize this one and announce it hopefully in Sudan, the next host. Maybe we'll give you the floor later on to speak about that.
On the way forward, we ‑‑ I think some of you who have been in chairmanship, you already know the news, we have this program, a massive program on capacity building in Africa, it is policy and regulation initiative on digital Africa, and I have joined a cooperation between the African commission and the European Commission, and it is 2.5 million euros for capacity building over three years. I already started to talk to the different community so that the Civil Society and other communities, so that they can help us implementing this program.
It is ‑‑ the intent is not only having a one-time thing but the intent is the capacity building for the countries and we can have discussion maybe offline if you want to learn more about the program.
I think I have taken a long time. Thank you.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you very much.
I think ‑‑ please. Thank you. Thank you.
I will give the floor to Makane Faye now.
>> MAKANE FAYE: Thank you, Christine.
Michelle was supposed to speak about the Central African process, but unfortunately he left earlier and has given me notes that will be reflected in the report.
I would like to say that Michael Lindsay from Cameroon was to make a presentation on the Central African IGF which was held in the Congo, but he left and he left the notes and they'll be reflected in the report. There were strong points, weak points and some recommendation for the way forward.
Now I would like in line with what was announced by Mary on the Africa IGF charter, you know, it is clearly written that in line with Article 4.21 of the African IGF chapter talks about who is represented in the meeting. Subregional, it doesn't mean communities. But stakeholder groups from a particular subregion. Not all the groups are engaged in IGF. Where they're engaged in the IGF, they have been nominated as members. We have only two which are fully engaged in the IGF process, and that's West Africa and Southern Africa. All the other subregion, they're stakeholder groups that they're recognizing and convening. The stakeholder groups that engage in convening are members of the nominating committee.
In line with Article 4.24A, subsection 5, the Secretariat announces the nominating committee members during the sessions, and this is an odd year. We have to make the nomination before the end of September, otherwise we have to nominate them in two‑year's time while the MAG members need to be nominated in even years. That means next year we'll do that.
There are processes for nominating the MAG member. After the nominating committee is announced from January we'll ask ‑‑ send a call out for nomination for the MAG members. The MAG members are supposed to be 15 MAG members, nominating Committee members, they're supposed to be 7. (Reading from document).
Please note, all the international organizations, African international organizations, private sector operating in Africa are expected to be part of the African IGF MAG, nobody is excluded. Also in creating the MAG, all stakeholder group should be taken care of. If we have, for example, one government organization in here, we have to have Civil Society or academia also. This has to be reflected in the nomination.
Please note that not everybody is going to be nominated will be accepted, but we have to take care of the balance. Christine has shown the balance here. Many IGF processes, governments, they're behind.
So someone today said that the government has taken the lead. They're more than the other part of the stakeholder groups, and a woman also is coming to approach the men. In this nomination, the MAG, we also need to have a balanced or at least a balance between man and women.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you so much, Makane Faye. Maybe I didn't properly introduce Makane Faye but because I always understand that everybody knows Makane.
I would ‑‑ yeah, so I would like to really thank you for your efforts to make the African IGF this year such a success together with Adil. A secret, I have known Makane since the first global IGF when we organized together Africa on the road to Athens in 2006. Yeah. It is history.
I promised we could have 20 minutes discussions and I think we're good on time.
I would like now to open up the floor for discussion.
We should start maybe with remote participation.
>> As far as questions are concerned, we have two questions. The first is the African participation in the IGF, remote participants included? Is the first question.
The second question, is the North African IGF charter, been cross‑checked to ensure there is no contradiction to the African IGF charter.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: This is a good question.
Maybe I can start with the North African point and give the floor later to ‑‑
>> Thank you for the question. In reality, I have to tell the truth on this. Usually I don't tell the truth! Here I have to say.
In fact, I'm a member of the Drafting Group of the African IGF charter. I started the exercise with some other people concerning the North African charter. Most of the ideas in the North African charter as it has been adopted in Marrakech are also in the African charter, African IGF charter, except the issue of NomCom which has not yet been adopted in the North African level.
We have to work on the issue of North African, and I hope that the next meeting is an opportunity to discuss the provision related to the NomCom of the North African charter.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Yes. Thank you very much.
Let me add maybe to that that it is fairly new, it is the first annual meeting. Despite the fact that there were many efforts before that, I think that there are plenty of improvements to be done and it is a good idea to compare the charters to the charter of the ‑‑ it is a good thing to do.
On the first question, if I recall right, it was statistics about remote participation, and frankly I don't have the statistics and I don't know if there are any statistics and I would like to intervene.
>> Thank you.
For remote participation, let me start with stressing how important the component was in the operations of this year's African IGF. We understand the limitations that sometimes people cannot travel to meetings so we have worked on having this in all sessions, including parallel sessions and workshops.
In terms of numbers, the number of remote participants is included in the number that's been presented. We have worked hard to make this as workable as possible, and we have also the sessions recorded and available on the website of the African IGF so that still anyone can tap into this material and make use of it.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you.
I have to say we learn as we go. It is probably an experience that each host of the African IGF maybe should give to the next host. The remote participation, one issue that we were looking at is having various channels with various languages, French, English, remote participants could be there. Yeah. It was an issue that we were working on.
I would like to open up the floor now, if someone has a question.
I'll take and then come back to the floor, please. I would kindly ask you to introduce yourself briefly before stating your question.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you.
I just have one question. In the MAG IGF, and also in the NomCom I didn't see the name of UNCA. Could you clarify why? Just to be transparent, Secretariat, trying to get more clarification on why it is not listed.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Maybe we can have a couple of questions and then respond.
I'll take another question.
>> AUDIENCE: Good evening, everybody.
I'm from ISOC IGF, and I would like to know what's been put in place by Africa IGF to include more African youth in Internet Governance processes, and also to educate them more and to include them in policymaking procedures and what's the support given to youth that's willing to be involved in IGF and Africa.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: An important question on youth participation.
I'll take another question from right and then from the middle and then back to the floor.
>> AUDIENCE: (Speaking language other than English, no English translation).
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: One last question.
>> AUDIENCE: I have two kinds of question. The first is practically for the meeting in Sudan, and once the dates have not been fixed, it becomes impossible to make visa applications, and also it is impossible to book air tickets. We need those dates as fast as possible, otherwise it will be worse than my colleague described for Geneva. It will be a small meeting because nobody would be able to do the processing.
The next set of questions has to do with what happened at this IGF. I participated in a number of sessions, and I observed that the panels had representation from Asia, they had representation from Latin America, but only in a few cases did we see anybody on the panel who was representing the situation in Africa, especially for Dynamic Coalition. Supposed to be a Dynamic Coalition. I would have expected that there would have been a better Africa representation in terms of the preparation of certain themes. I think it is very important at the level of the Africa IGF that we're clear on which areas are our priorities. That is the purpose for me of the Africa IGF that we're clear on what is important for Africa. I would be grateful if you ‑‑ you mentioned eCommerce, but if you mentioned, you know, some of the other things, and then as we prepare for 2018, what are the themes that we'll be actually deep diving into so that when we get to the meeting we'll have very substantive discussions around.
I think we need to get back to the substance.
I'm Dorothy Gordon. I work in the area of technology and development.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you for the intervention.
Let me maybe start with the question on the Secretariat and, yes, I'll take another round of questions after we answer those.
Mary, would you like to comment on this?
>> MARY UDUMA: I want to respond to the question from ECC.
If you go to 4.1, hosting of IGF secretariat, it should be composed set of names comprising of coordinator, desk offices and volunteers, including interns and fellows.
B, the IGF Secretariat is hosted by the African Union Commission and supported by the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa in accordance with the joint AUC and ECA commucia on the IGF on the third of December, 2014. It is physically located at headquarters. So by default, ECA is already a member.
Does it clear the point?
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you.
I think we would like to add, please.
>> PANELIST: Thank you, Christine.
I think we have to insist on the central role of what should be called now on parallel organizations. In the case of the African IGF, it is clear it is both the ECA and the AUC in arrangement which has been established between them since 2015 I think.
Now, I have to bring clarifications for the NomCom: For creating officially a NomCom in the North African region it is because we have no umbrella organization, to be clear. You know, half of the North African countries belong to what we call the MAG union, and two do not belong to UMA. It is hard to find a way to get an umbrella organization, which would have been very helpful in the issue in establishing the clear rule with the NomCom. Hopefully as for the African IGF, there was already consensus on the umbrella organizations.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you.
Adil Sulieman, would you like to comment on other questions, please?
>> ADIL SULIEMAN: Let me take a shot at the questions.
There was a question on youth participation: I think for us, within the Secretariat, we think that youth are key in the African IGF. There are a couple of opportunities for youth to participate. There is a school taking place usually before the IGF and the graduates from the school youth, of course, they'll participate in the African IGF. This is one avenue.
Second avenue, I think we also started ‑‑ we thought if we have a youth session in the plenary that would be ‑‑ it would be adequate. We realized that after the session then the youth, they said we don't have anything to do after that. What we try to do and moving forward to include the youth participant in practically each and every session to have their voices heard during the session. We also when we select people from the five regions, we always have a youth element on that. The only limitation for us is just the budget. You know, youth are the future, of course. They have to be included in the discussion.
There was a question on Sudan. Sudan, I think we already started the discussion with Sudan on the dates. Hopefully within Q1 we'll be able to announce the dates. This is something that we're taking into account, and it is important because of the situation of visas we faced with before. Rest assured, I think hopefully within Q1 we'll announce the date, even if we learn it sooner, we'll announce it. This is really important for us. It will help us with the organization.
On the question pertaining to the panel: During IGF, I think there was a high‑level meeting between the head ‑‑ the chairperson of the African Union Commission, the ECA and the African Development, and they stressed the same point that you have mentioned that the African participation is non‑existent and this international dialogues, and that's why we work with the European Commission to come up with this capacity building initiative for Africans as a step to have them ready to participate ‑‑ actively participate in the global discussion. This is a point well taken. I think we already have some effort, we're putting some effort and activities towards making this happen to have African participating in the global discussion. On the themes, the issue on the themes, I think maybe you're not in our list. Usually the way we go about selecting the themes, we invite the community, we throw five themes and invite the community to include additional themes and had we have the voting on the theme. We tried to move away from the global themes. We have tried to address African issues and the issue pertaining to Africa, and then as much as possible trying to walk away from the global themes ‑‑
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Yes.
>> MAKANE FAYE: In line with what Adil Sulieman said. We're setting up an online platform Forum and I hope all of your email addresses are here, if you don't have it, please add it here. The paper ‑‑ if you don't have it, please come and add your email address, please.
As I have said, the teams were built from bottom‑up and it was then all of the people that have their email addresses. So they ‑‑ there are some services from various groups, including youth. So it was very inclusive.
Now on the question raised by our colleague, it is a ‑‑ IGF, you know, there are only some sessions which are used multi‑lingually. Those are the main sessions. Any other session can be in French, English, whatever languages in case the group organizing it have secure interpretation. They did it in some of the IG Fs because we had provision for this, but last year, we had very few number in the African open Forum. If you knew that you had this large of a number, we would have the interpretation, you don't want to waste the maximum 10% in the room. This year, we have almost 100 people. So this is a trend and we can then move forward for it.
For the visa issues, also as I have said earlier, this is a global problem. I think there is one issue raised by one participant from Sudan in May of this year, when he was exiting, they asked him to pay a lot of dollars for the exit visa. Please, he told me clearly during the break that we should look at that. We're going to take care of that.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you.
I just want to ‑‑ sorry. We need a couple of more questions before we close. We don't have much time.
We have a remote question.
>> We have a remote question coming to Adil Sulieman about funding and sponsoring. Her question is, is the AUC going to preselect participants to support or leave it to the sponsoring organizations.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I have a gentleman here in the back. No?
Sorry. I had someone here from the beginning. Yes, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.
I'm Jimson Olufuye. I want to use this opportunity to commend the team for the efforts and the work done who made tremendous progress. I remember when we started six years ago, there was ‑‑ now we have all of the regions in Africa coming, having activity on Internet Governance.
My question is this: How many national IGF do we have right now ongoing out of the 54 countries in Africa? Just a way to measure the progress.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you. I'm sorry. I had somebody here from the start. Please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello.
Just to know why the report on the chapter, we say here formal MAG member Elizabeth for reappointed after two years, why?
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Okay.
>> AUDIENCE: (Speaking language other than English, no English translation).
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I have three more questions. I'm very sorry.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from ISOC. I need to do this in French.
>> (Speaking language other than English, no English translation).
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Two last questions.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
First, I want to start by thanking everyone in the AUC for having worked us through the last month of preparations, and I wish to commend everyone from the team for helping us host the event this year. The discussion we have had in the last ten minutes, I thank you for highlighting the African presentation issue at the global level. Here I have one note and maybe another observation. For the intersessional work that goes through the global IGF level, I think there's some effort that's needed to include more African voices in the intersessional work itself. By the time we come to the global event we still find experts from Africa because we don't like expertise but maybe the engagement is the issue. Here I have a suggestion also to make more visible the mailing list that I think that Makane Faye and Adil Sulieman point out, making it visible and dynamic. We can maybe rely on the efforts of Makane Faye and Adil Sulieman to link this community, the African IGF community, to the global one during the month of preparation in the intersessional work by the global IGF.
Second point, quickly, the training: I wish to commend the African Union for taking this step to put this budget for the capacity building. It is very important that we don't have this separate in the IGF processes, if we're attending to the interpretation part that we have the capacity building designed around intersessional activities because of the continent and to make use of the expertise inside of Africa to utilize this in the capacity building focus.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Last question, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. It is not a question. I would like to speak French but since there is no interpretation, let's speak English.
Just to tell those who are disappointed that there are not Africans on the stage speaking on those sessions, tomorrow there will be two sessions where we'll have Africans speaking on the stage. The first is at 9:00 and it is number 66 and I will be speaking about the protection of data. The second one, it will be at 11:50 and it will be the workshop and it will be in room 17‑E and there will be Africans speaking.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you. I will give one minute to every panelist to respond to the questions and maybe give closing remarks because we don't have much time left.
I will start with you, please.
>> MAKANE FAYE: Thank you.
Just trying to reflect on the number requested by Jimson Olufuye. We don't have the exact number, we'll have it on the website. Last year, there was an organization that was organized and we have around 25 national IGFs going on in Africa and we would like to have more.
Thinking about the appointment of the two years, it means that we don't want to ‑‑ people to be in the African MAG member, so we say that after you finish your mandate, you can rest for two years and then you apply again. If you are found suitable again, then you may be reappointed.
(Speaking language other than English, no English translation).
I can't speak about it, but we're going to move the FIGF.org to .Africa very soon. We have requested them to do that and that's an example to move forward.
It is about Internet shut down, the cost of access, so on, Adil Sulieman will speak about it.
It is not on what was by our colleague in Ghana, seeing many in the Dynamic Coalitions, it is true, the work of the Dynamic Coalitions, it starts 12 months ago. It is at the end, just as people are coming to sit and represent. We used to be a part of that Dynamic Coalition, I used to be a part of several but sometimes the work, there are other people ‑‑ you have to start early. We'll be trying to establish this platform to link it to Africa. ISOC will help us to set it. We'll move forward. We believe that everybody will be in the list of the Forums online. It will be very interactive to make sure that everybody goes in. Thank you.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you.
>> Thank you, Christine. Thank you very much.
In fact, I would like to talk much more on challenges, new challenges of Africa as far as the IGF is concerned.
Now we have an African IGF. We have five subregion IGFs, we have 25 over 54, it is not enough. I think our most important challenge for the future is to have 54 national IGFs. This is the main issue as far as bottom‑up processes are concerned. If we want to have Africa heard at the global level, we have to start hearing or listening to people at local level.
Please, next year we're ‑‑ let's say we're 54 national IGFs, it will be a success. Otherwise we have to continue.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you.
>> MARY UDUMA: I want to say many people in this room participated an I know Jimson Olufuye had a lot of participation, I featured not less than six discussions. If where you went, you see Africans, there are other ones, there are over 80 workshops, you cannot confirm, but if you look through all of them, the thread, the investment, the data, cybersecurity, one of us organized the session for cybersecurity, for peace and development, Jimson Olufuye participated as well. As we have said, if you don't engage during the intersessional work, we're all in the ‑‑ even Christine, was in the ‑‑ what is it called? The NRIs, we had eight and so many participated. It is not only ‑‑ let's not shoot ourselves down. We're trying. Let's try more.
In the next ‑‑ within the year, I think about what we'll do is to establish this Working Group since we have support from the African Union. I encourage you to be part of the discussion during the year intercessionally and that will give you the opportunity to speak.
Thank you. Thank you.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I confirm, during the process, the African colleagues represented on the MAG had very important contributions to the program.
Maybe one idea is to ask the Secretariat folks of statistics about speakers, workshop organizers from the African region so that we can build on that.
The final intervention will be to you. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Christine.
There was a question on support, funding for participants. I think ideally you want to fund everybody. We have limited budget! Because of the limited budget, then we have to prioritize. Those who will be involved in decisions, I think we give them priorities, whether it is youth session or other sessions, we give them priority. Then we try as I said to be diverse in terms of regions and to select the active participants. In addition to that, also include new blood, we try to include new blood so that we don't have the same people over and over again.
I hope that's satisfactory for the person online.
On the question on the national IGF, I think that's why we have this initiative, preinitiative, so that the objective of the preinitiative is to increase the number of national IGFs in Africa and increase the participation of Africa in the global debate. Hopefully as we go, we improve the numbers.
There was a question about shutdowns, I think ‑‑ yeah. Internet shutdown. I think this is this is a very good case point where the multistakeholders can contribute as a technical solution and policy solution to the countries that are shutting down the Internets. I think in talking to the countries, this is the only thing that they know. We have to educate them. I'm thinking that the ‑‑ this could be one of our sessions next year and so that we can come up with solutions. I'm very sure that if the country is there, they know that another way around it, they wouldn't have shut it because they have economic consequences. This is something that as a community we can see together and then come up with something.
The policy proposal, whatever ‑‑ the proposal of the countries, the alternatives, give them alternatives.
On Africa, we have so far 11,000 administrations and this represents 70% of our targets, and unfortunately most of them are international and that's why we're asking you to buy the African domain name, please.
I encourage the community that you're working with to also buy the domain names. In the commission, we're moving everything into in settlement of .org we're moving into .Africa. We're taking the lead on that, but we are encouraging you to buy that .Africa domain name. This is Africa identity. We need to preserve the identity just to make sure that we observe our culture, you know, all of the good things about Africa. Please, please, please, please buy the African domain name.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I thank you all for being with us beyond time. This is an opportunity to engage in the mailing list that we're promising. Send your questions over the mailing list.
Thank you everyone.
Join me in thanking our panelists today.