The first African Internet Governance Summer School held at Hotel 64 Gordon in Durban kicked off on 9th July 2013 with an introductory dinner. The diversity of participants, presenters and facilitators across Africa and the world was amazing.

Presenters with rich knowledge on Internet Governance were lined up from NEPAD, ICANN (NCUC), Afrinic, APC, Afilias, CGI.br, .ZADNA, University of Aarhus, and University of Zuric among others.

On day two, participants volunteered to role-play by belonging to different stakeholder groups of either Civil society, Government, Media, Private sector, Academia, and Technical community, where they were expected to develop a policy document of an IG topic of their choice. During plenary, the stakeholder groups worked hard to undo the policy documents of the opposing side until consensus was reached on the policy documents presented by each stakeholder group. The moderators and Chairman were keen to control the Stakeholders who had heated debates.

Participants of the Internet Governance School

Participants of the African Internet Governance School

The networking opportunity for the school was great with participants mingling freely and exchanging ideas, information, and lessons learned on IG issues from their respective regions.

The IG school came to a close on 12th July with participants presented beautiful certificates, and facilitators awarded tokens of appreciation. The event could not be complete without the Closing Dinner Sponsored by APC and NCUC held at Spiga d’Oro, 200 Florida Road, just near our hotel  Florida Park.


Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Kenya is very mature, with like 5 past events. including hosting the east Africa, Africa, and world IGF.

Lessons learned.

Other countries across the world wonder how Kenya has made it. I have had others say they are waiting for government to start their local IGF initiatives. Government and business do not sponsor the event but always shows up to defend themselves because they are usually the punching bag at the events. Nobody would sponsor an event where they are put under scrutiny.

It’s usually a hectic process arranging the IGF, with totally no funding, but we always find ourselves exceeding expectations. How do we do it?

Local participation from like minded individuals and enthusiasm is all that counts. And a little donation from members of the IGF working group, as we have done in 2013.

Advice

If your country has no national Internet Governance initiative, just form a network of like-minded
individuals and brainstorm on how to convene one. The twist is the Internet Governance Forum should be before your regional Internet Governance Forum, and the continental Internet Governance Forum so that you can use the deliberations at the national level to feed into the regional, continental and world agenda.