By Aminat Umar
The African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) is an annual five-day residential course, run by the Association for Progressive Communications.
The goal is to develop a pipeline of leading Africans from diverse sectors, backgrounds and ages with the skills to participate in local and international internet governance structures, and shape the future of the internet landscape for Africa’s development.
Drawing the faculty from leading African and international experts and role-players in the internet governance ecosystem, we provide a cutting-edge and African-centred curriculum, exposure to and hands-on experience in participating in internet governance mechanisms, as well as provide ongoing mentorship to our students.
Alumni are also plugged into a rich network of policy-makers, regulators and rights activists and experts invested in realising an open and secure internet that can be used to claim and secure our rights, develop our economies and improve our lives.
Aims And Objectives Of AfriSIG
The AfriSIG aims to give Africans from diverse sectors and stakeholder groups the opportunity to gain knowledge and confidence to participate effectively in internet governance (IG) processes and debates nationally, regionally and globally.
It contributes towards increasing the diversity, extent, quality and effectiveness of African participation in IG by creating a space that promotes multistakeholder learning and dialogue. The School responds to the challenge of inadequate participation by African and women stakeholders in the IG sphere, building knowledge across stakeholder groups and Africa’s sub-regions by fostering dialogue on complex issues towards mainstreaming African and women’s perspectives to global internet governance.
What to expect through out the five days program
Digitalisation, sustainable development and digital inclusion and inequality
The global internet governance ecosystem and the African institutional context at national and regional level
Open internet architecture, infrastructure, standards and protocols and management of internet names and numbers
Stakeholder and sector roles and responsibilities (government, intergovernmental forums, UN agencies, regulators, parliaments, civil society, business, academia, the media, the technical community and internet users)
Data governance: data as a strategic asset, driver of digital development. Data protection, security, data flows, sovereignty and localisation and the implementation of the African Union Data Policy Framework
Human rights and the internet, including freedom of expression, association, gender justice and media diversity and independence
Digital economy, including trade, taxation and sustainable development
Cybersecurity, trust and safety and responses to harmful use of the internet, hate speech, online gender-based violence, misinformation and disinformation
Emerging issues: Artificial Intelligence, climate change, digital sovereignty and the geopolitics of internet governance.
Finally, Current processes and debates, e.g. WSIS +20, the Global Digital Compact and the Summit of the Future
Check out the photographs at the opening ceremony of The African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) 2023 held at The Envoy Hotel, Abuja…on 15th September 2023.