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Working toward internet governance for North Africa

October 6, 2013  »  ICT PolicyOne Comment

The 2nd annual Arab Internet Governance Forum was recently held in Algiers, Algeria under the theme “Partners for Development.” Discussions focused on cyber security, freedom of the internet, the creation of infrastructure, and online opportunities for youth.

arab-igf-2013

The Algerian government took the opportunity to emphasize its commitment to developing technology among Arab nations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs acknowledged the link between internet and “cultural, social, and economic life” along with the need of internet governance to ensure national security.

Participants made numerous recommendations for improving the online ecosystem of North Africa.

Internet governance and universal service are good in theory but hopefully in practice too:

Nations have big plans, but many (ie. Algeria) should focus on 3G first:

A lack of proper legal framework is a challenge in nearly all nations:

The Algerian government announced plans to construct a national IXP to allow local peering. Plans to create an internet exchange point between all Arab nations was also discussed:

Arabic domain names are available to encourage local content creation, for example:

Tunisia is a great example of a nation that ended internet filtering:

Many attendees reported challenges juggling languages:

Arab IGF is held under the joint umbrella of the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA). Sponsors for this year’s event included Algerie Telecom, Nedjma, and Mobilis.