Policies Enabling Access, Growth and Development on the Internet

03 September 2014 - A Main Session on Istanbul,Turkey



The main session combines two key themes: “Access” and “Internet as an Engine for Growth and Development”.


This main session will be held as a large, multistakeholder, interactive roundtable between panelists and participants.   The session has 2 seasoned moderators, 1 remote moderator and 2-3 volunteers, with mikes, amongst participants. Post introductions by moderators, brief opening statements (2-3 minutes) will be invited from select panelists, linked to specific questions of policy. This cycle will be repeated through the session. Not every panelist will need to comment on each question. Moderators will frequent between panelists and participants for comments / questions. Feeder sessions invited to provide 1 minute interventions. Substantive Rapporteurs will record session highlights as inputs to feeder sessions and produce a more detailed report post IGF.


The objective will be to strengthen IGF’s “knowledge agenda” by bring forth diverse experiences especially from developing countries on policies that have worked to deliver access, learnings and how internet connectivity drives growth and development in developing countries especially for women, youth and the marginalized sections.

The session has a special focus on developing countries and women participants. Apart from ITU and UNESCO, panelists will share perspectives from Turkey (Chair), Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa (Africa), Qatar, Lebanon (Middle East),  Argentina, Brazil  (Latin America), China, India, Sri Lanka (Asia), Pacific Islands, United States and Europe. The moderators and the youth volunteers represent Fiji, Kenya and UK. Of the 21 (TBC) invited (20 confirmed) panelists, 14 belong to developing countries and 2 to international organisations. 8 panelists are women.  


There existed 1 billion internet users when the Tunis Agenda was conceived in 2005. In the next 9 years, at the time of UN IGF in Istanbul, according to a 2014 ITU report, (http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/facts/default.aspx ), there are approx. 7 billion mobile subscriptions and approx. 3 billion internet users. Of these 3 billion, 2.3 billion are mobile broadband subscriptions – half of which are in developing countries.

Home internet access is near saturation in developed countries, but only 31% in developing countries. By 2014 end, 44% of the world’s households will have internet access. In contrast, in Africa, only 1 out of 10 households is connected to internet. Against Europe’s internet penetration of 75% and Americas at (66%), Asia Pacific is at 33%, and Africa (20%) – up from 10% in 2010. By 2030, 3.1 billion new internet users will come from Asia, Africa (1.3 bn), Americas (0.5 bn) and Europe (0.1 bn).

Public Internet access, infrastructure sharing and access as a human right for the socially disadvantaged, vulnerable sections and persons with disabilities are critical access issues – that need global attention.


Several studies have established that internet contributes an average of 1.9 % to GDP - amongst developing countries. By comparison, in developed countries, it contributes 3.4 % of the GDP (http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/high_tech/latest_thinking/impact_of_the_internet_on_aspiring_countries). Citizens are often the first to benefit in the developing countries especially through services such as email, social networks, search engines, access to information, education, health services, entertainment and important government content. Adoption of internet by the younger population drives online services. Women and SMEs are 2 of the beneficiaries of an increase in internet penetration.

The panel will discuss both access and developmental issues with a special focus on “enabling policies”.

List of Potential Public Policy questions (to be reduced to 5 - 6)

(i)              What are the national regulatory best practices driving internet access – relevant to the 4 billion unconnected citizens of the world? Will, what got us here, get us there?

(ii)            Can inter-governmental and multilateral agencies, developed country governments through bi-laterals, and private entities, help hasten internet access, linking it to development in emerging economies? Or is access almost entirely a national public policy challenge for developing countries?

(iii)           Are countries with high internet penetration and lower cost of access, approaching the challenge in terms of regulatory intervention, legislation, investment environment, technology options and multistakeholder participation in decision making, differently?  How are countries with small populations spread over great distances responding to the challenge?     

(iv)           Are norms linking internet penetration to GDP growth, per capita income, poverty eradication, education, rate of employment, etc., universally acceptable? Can internet linked economic and social development norms work as peer pressure amongst emerging economies?

(v)             Most developing country governments have announced national broadband plans. Who is funding National Broadband Plans?   What is the state of their implementation and will they need revision during the next 2-3 years on account of emerging technologies? Can lack of local content becoming a barrier to meaningful access and use of internet? 

(vi)           How important are public access policies in ensuring wide-spread access to the unconnected, especially as it relates to responsibilities of actors regarding human rights and disadvantaged groups in information society? How to ensure a continued focus on areas that need special attention?

(vii)          What role can the IGF play to become a catalyst, to enhance its knowledge agenda through  global dialogue amongst multistakeholder groups   to record learnings, improve information sharing, and strengthen best practices in access / development? Suggest specific steps as inputs for the MAG 2015.  


Dr. Ömer Fatih SAYAN, Board Member, Information and Communications Technologies Authority, Turkey


(i)              Ms. Alice Munyua, Inter-Governmental Organisation, Convener, Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANET), Kenya

(ii)            Mr. Martin Levy, Private Sector, Network Strategy, CloudFlare, Inc., United States


(i)              Government







Ms. Eugenia Migliori Dr. Norberto Berner

Advisor to the Secretary of Communications, Government  of Argentina



Ms. Omobola Johnson

Minister of Communications Technology, Government of Nigeria


Mr. Jackson Miake


Office of the Government Chief Information Officer – Prime Minister's Office, Government of the Republic of Vanuatu


Ms. Neelie Kroes

Vice-President of the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda


Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State & U.S. Coordinator for Int’l Communications, United States Government


Ms. Salam Yamout

National ICT Strategy Coordinator, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Government of Lebanon


(ii)                  Civil Society



Name / Country / Reference



Dr. (Ms) Alison Gillwald 

Research ICT Africa, South Africa


Mr. Guo Liang

Director of the China Internet Project and Associate Professor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China


Mr. Henri Malosse

Message from Mr. Henri Malosse for the 9th IGF meeting

President of the European Economic and Social Committee, EU


Ms. Joana Varon

Project coordinator & researcher on Digital Rights,  Center for Technology & Society / Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Brazil


Mr. John Walubengo

Dean, Faculty of Computing & IT, Multimedia University, Kenya & Board Member, AfriNIC


(iii)                  Technical Community



Name / Country / Reference



Mr. Jari Arkko

Chairman, IETF


Mr. Raul Echeberria

Vice President, Global Engagement, ISOC


Mr. Mike Jensen

Internet Access Specialist, Brazil APC, Brazil


Professor David Reed

University of Colorado, USA


Mr. Rohan Samarajiva

Chair, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka


(iv)                  Private Sector



Name / Country / Reference



Ms. Dorothy Attwood

Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy, Walt Disney, USA


Mr. Hossam El-Gamal

Board Member and Treasurer, AFICTA, Egypt


Mr. Rajan Mathews,

Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India, India


Ms.  Funke Opeke

CEO Main One Ltd., Lagos, Nigeria


    (v)         International Organizations


Name / Country / Reference



Mr. Getachew Engida

Deputy Director General,UNESCO


Mr. Tomas Lamanauskas

Head of the Corporate Strategy Division, ITU


Remote moderator:           

Ms. Anju Mangal, Inter-Governmental Organization, Information Specialist/Coordinator for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) activities, SPC-LRD, Fiji 

Feeder workshops

Total feeder workshops – 27 (Access – 10; Internet as an Engine for G&D – 16; Dynamic Coalition session – 1).

Feeder Workshops listed below as per the IGF Draft Agenda, from September 1 – September 5, in sequence from first to last as scheduled, along with time slots and room numbers.

Feeder workshops listed for both subthemes – “Access” and “Internet as an Engine for Growth and Development”.  Also,1 session by Dynamic Coalition on Public Access.