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Recapping the West Africa Internet Governance Forum

July 18, 2012  »  ICT PolicyNo Comment

‘Tis the season for Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) in Africa. Afrique Central was held 29-31 May, West Africa 2-4 July, and East Africa 17-18 July.

The fifth session of its kind, West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) 2012 aimed to promote the multi-stakeholder model for further Internet development in Africa. A mix of Sierra Leonen ministers, WAIGF coordinators, and representatives from ICANN, UNECA, and ISOC participated in sessions throughout the three days.

No official communique or summary has been published (yet), but social media allows us to recap a few lasting points of interest. E-participation was invited via Twitter and a handful of key participants took advantage of the opportunity.

These themes have immediate bearing on where the Internet is headed in West Africa:

  • Speed: African Internet needs to be as fast as in other parts of the world.
  • ccTLDs: There was an explanation of the .sl (Sierra Leone) domain, plus ICANN gave a presentation and spoke about the upcoming .africa domain.
  • IXPs: A new Internet exchange point will be created in Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Market information: Benin actually has a powerful Market Information System for farmers ( & ). Liberia, Nigeria, and Cameroon will soon have the system in place.
  • Privacy and cyber security must be stressed.
  • ISOC touted high level of female engagement, for one.
  • Cross-Networks Synergy: WAIGF recommends the Governments of ECOWAS to implement the concept and methodology.

Source: multiple attendees aggregated by @waigf

waigf banner

The WAIGF banner. {Facebook: IGICI - Initiatives pour la Gouvernance de l'Internet en Côte d'Ivoire}

Expect an official Communiqué within a matter of weeks. The document from 2011 can be found over at the WAIGF publications section.