West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF)

The 9th West Africa Forum on Internet Governance (WAIGF) which held from the 27th to 28th,  July 2017 at the Golden Tulip Le Diplomate in Cotonou, Benin Republic, the theme was  “Digital Security for Socio – Economic Development and Peace”. The WAIGF aims to promote Internet Governance issues in West Africa through a multi-stakeholder process. Nigeria was represented the Convener of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF), who is also the immediate past President of NiRA, Mrs. Mary Uduma as well as the President of NIRA, Revd Sunday Folayan.

Earlier, at the 2017 NIGF which held on 13th July 2017 in Kaduna State, the state government acknowledged the importance of Internet Governance as a veritable tool for economic development, Security and Sustainability.  According to the Convener, Mrs. Mary Uduma, “the NIGF is aimed at providing a sustainable National Forum and structure that engages industry, government, lawmaker, the academia, civil society and all Stakeholders in a strategic national debate on internet governance.

Discussions on Internet Governance are always on the hot burner at gatherings that focus on the growth and development of the Internet. There are various viewpoints on the application of shared principles, decision making procedures, norms and rules. But all agree that key decisions must be taken in the interest of all. 

The is no longer just a “communication tool”. As the issues associated with it are numerous, the governance of the Internet is now seen as a broader concept that includes issues bordering on political, technical and security. The African continent has become sensitized on the need to participant and engage in international negotiations on Internet Governance, in order to contribute its quota to the development of the African continent, and has engaged actively since the WSIS process. Africa continues to participate in the multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Next on the radar is the 12th Internet Governance Forum, scheduled for 18th to 21st December 2017 at Geneva, Switzerland with the theme “Shape Your Digital Future”.  There would be discussions on “Empowering Global Cooperation on CyberSecurity for Sustainable Development & Peace”, “Gender Inclusion and the Future of the Internet”, etc. It promises to be another enriching experience on how the Internet affects our lifes, best practices and experiences.

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