Highlights from 2nd National Internet Governance Forum Gambia
In early February 2012, The Gambia hosted its 2nd National Internet Governance Forum. Inspired by the broader West African Internet Governance Forum (now in its 5th year), the meeting of Gambian stakeholders hoped to further Internet development in Africa’s geographically smallest non-island nation. The event brought key members of Gambian organizations and institutions together for two days of productive discussion.
The National IGF Gambia, following the precedent set by the 4th WAIGF held in Lagos in 2011, communicated its accomplishments to all participants after the close of the event. Apart from agreeing to develop a framework for e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, and e-participation, stakeholders agreed to. Major themes include access & diversity, managing critical resources, and Internet governance & development. Additionally, the communique imparted the need to:
- make a framework for use of open source technologies which will encourage sharing of ideas
- take Internet to the grass roots
- bring Internet to all secondary schools
- develop applications for local languages
- create sustainable access model for rural areas
- use Internet to aid citizen advocacy
- develop an Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
- enable ICT personnel to manage critical resources
- advocate for cyber security and data protection
- define an e-government platform
What’s more, the stakeholders agree to participate more fully in future Internet governance forums to make the Gambia’s position on ICT clearer and more well-known. Expect stakeholders to attend the 5th WAIGF, scheduled for July 2-4, 2012 in Freetown, Sierra Leone.