NRI Session on Emerging Technologies

14 November 2018 - A Other on Paris,France


IGF 2018 Report Template

Pre-Session Synthesis Due: 2 November 2018

Short Report Due: Within 12 hours of when session is held

Long Report Due: 27 November 2018


- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.): Panel

- Title: IGF 2018 NRI Session on Emerging Technologies: impact of emerging technologies on national levels

- Date & Time: Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 - 09:00 to 10:00

- Organizer(s): NRIs​

- Chair/Moderator: Mary Uduma (Nigeria IGF, West Africa IGF)

- Rapporteur/Notetaker: (Nigeria IGF, West Africa IGF)

- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

  • Mary Uduma, Nigeria IGF, West Africa IGF
  • Bhredipta Socarana, Indonesia Youth IGF
  • Herman Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso IGF
  • Haru AlHassan, Nigeria IGF

- Theme (as listed here): Development, Innovation & Economic Issues

- Subtheme (as listed here): None assigned

- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion.

  1. Emerging technologies could be instrumental for the overall development of the society. In many parts of the world, the online based technologies made significant impact on many layers of the society, especially in the field of economy, health, education, and communication. For instance, in some African countries, the raise of the Internet penetration is directly connected to raise in public income. Rural areas noted increase in agriculture and education, as the ICTs allowed for quicker and easier communication and dissemination of information.
  2. In 2020, many of the African countries will go through elections. Digital technologies are more and more discussed in a context of an instrument of supporting the transparent and fully inclusive election process and with that advancing the democracy.
  3. Application of ICTs directly to people’s lives is challenging as it faces insecurity. It is important for the communities to know who is the provider of ICTs and online services and under what terms. In addition, African countries as well as the Latin American countries, are facing more and more the foreign investments that are subordinating the national investments. Capacity building is crucial in order to have the national institutions and people understand how to use ICTs, under what terms and how to protect national sovereignty and economy while allowing foreign investments.

- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence.

The panelists brought case studies from their national and regional perspectives. There was a broad agreement that online based technologies are the world’s present and most definitely its future. However, it was noted by all that the digital divide is a problematic reality. This was brought in the context of the infrastructure, with many parts of the worlds being without any infrastructure. The African countries noted that having mobile Internet does not mean having meaningful and affordable access. In addition, even those that have access, face divide in terms of which types of technologies are available and in use. For example, the Internet of Things or the Artificial Intelligence are still concepts not present and definitely not implemented in many developing countries. Everyone underlined that capacity building is critical for over-bridging the digital divide.

Panelists also noted the importance of having foreign investments being understood by domestic stakeholders, as it foreign companies can overtake the domestic economy and with that the domestic income could be significantly reduced.

- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps.                              

Understanding digital technologies before using it is important.

Building capacity across domestic institutions and people is necessary for people to understand what are the ICTs and its benefits, and for institutions to be ready to protect their citizens by creating conditions for maxim use of ICTs for development.

It is important to over-bridge the digital divide, by introducing the Internet meaningful and affordable access to all places of the world.

- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? There was not a direct discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue. However, a clear message was sent that everyone should work together to exchange good practices and help each others to learn about the ICTs and its advantages.

- Please estimate the total number of participants: 20

- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present: 12

- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? Gender dived was mentioned in the context of over-bridging digital dive so that everyone can enjoy ICTs without any discrimination or segregation.

- Session outputs and other relevant links (URLs): Not applicable.

Emerging Technologies
Session Time: 
Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 - 09:00 to 10:00
Salle III