Call for applications for the fourth African School on Internet Governance

he Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency are pleased to announce the call for applications for the fourth African School on Internet Governance. The 2016 School will be held in Durban, South Africa from 11 to 15 October 2016 in conjunction with the African Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Have you ever thought about the massive and significant role that the internet plays in the world? In Africa, even though connectivity is still not nearly sufficient, the internet touches on multiple aspects of daily life, economic and social development, governance and government. This adds new dimensions and challenges to privacy, security, human rights, women’s rights, and business, to mention a few. These are issues that are not new to the realm of governance, but dealing with them in the context of a fast-changing, cross-border internet adds new dynamics and complexity.

The goal of AfriSIG is to give Africans from multiple sectors and stakeholder groups the opportunity to gain knowledge and confidence to enable them to participate effectively in internet governance processes and debates at the national, regional and global levels. AfriSIG also builds the capacity of people with existing expertise as the School facilitates peer learning and many participants are already established experts in internet policy and regulation. In addition to a five-day intensive learning event, AfriSIG provides all the participants with the opportunity to participate in the African IGF.

Building on the model of the European and Latin American Internet Governance Schools, APC and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency launched the first AfriSIG in July 2013 in Durban, South Africa. The second AfriSIG took place in November 2014 in Mauritius and the third in Addis Ababa at the African Union from 1 to 5 September 2015.

We believe that AfriSIG can increase the diversity, extent, quality and effectiveness of African participation in internet governance at the national, regional and global levels. AfriSIG’s broader goals are to strengthen African perspectives and voices in global internet governance and to achieve more inclusive and transparent internet governance on the continent.

Through learning and knowledge sharing, AfriSIG aims to build a multidisciplinary cadre of African expertise in internet governance. The School will bring together a diverse group of professionals from government, business, academia and civil society who are interested and involved in internet policy and development. The School prides itself in offering a world-class learning environment, with a faculty that has the experience and expertise to convey both practical and theoretical knowledge. AfriSIG graduates will better understand internet governance from a public interest perspective, have a grasp of internet policy processes and institutions, and be able to engage more effectively in national, regional and international processes and networks.

Who should apply?

The school is intended for leaders and professionals from:

  • Government ministries and departments, national and regional communications regulatory authorities, and public sector information and communications services such as public libraries.
  • Parliamentary portfolio committees that deal with communications issues.
  • Network operators, service providers and other businesses who form part of the internet industry.
  • Civil society and non-governmental organisations who interact with or operate in the internet-related information and communications sector.
  • Human rights institutions dealing with internet issues, such as national or regional human rights commissions.
  • Community-based information and communications services and the broader community informatics sector.
  • The judiciary and other members of the legal community working with internet and communications law.
  • Members of law enforcement agencies who deal with internet issues.
  • The internet technical community.
  • Academic and research institutions that deal with internet issues.
  • Media organisations and outlets that focus on the internet.

The topics to be covered include:

  • History and overview of internet governance
  • The World Summit in the Information Society (WSIS) and the internet in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Internet and communications policy and development
  • Human rights-related issues
  • Internet standards and protocols
  • The domain name and numbering system
  • Multistakeholder approaches to internet governance
  • Regional, national and international institutions involved in internet policy and regulation
  • Topical issues such as the so-called “right to forget”, internet shutdowns, women’s rights and the internet, net neutrality, online “hate speech” and human rights on the internet.

Successful applicants will be provided with a return economy class ticket, accommodation, meals and course materials. Participants or their employers will have to cover the costs of visas and local transport (to their nearest airport). There are limited spaces for full sponsorship and we encourage self-funding or co-funding for eligible participants who are not awarded full sponsorship.

To apply please complete the form here by Friday, 26 August 2016. For more information visit the AfriSIG website www.afrisig.org or contact the AfriSIG team: Dr. Towela Nyirenda Jere at towelan@nepad.org and Anriette Esterhuysen or Emilar Vushe at afrisig@apc.org.

 (END/2016)
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