CELEBRATION OF 20 YEARS OF INTERNET GOVERNANCE IN AFRICA
Cotonou, July 06, 2018
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE OF THE INTERNET AT THE SERVICE OF AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT
In December 1998 in Cotonou, Benin, a group of Internet pioneers had come together to discuss Africa and its Internet connection, and more, to plan the development of the Internet at the continental level. . It was the first ever forum on Internet governance in Africa, long before the fora that followed worldwide in the year 2005.
This historic African forum, titled: African Regional Conference on Internet Governance: Administration of Internet Protocols and Addresses, Domain Names and Strengthening Emerging African Institutions, was organized by the African Internet Group The African Internet Group (AIG), a nascent entity made up of Africans, most of whom participated in ISOC training, and whose mission was to structure Internet associations on the Internet. continent to promote progressive and effective ownership of the Internet by Africans.
The Cotonou Forum was facilitated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), the Internet Society, and the Government of the Republic of Benin.
The meeting had a positive impact as it enabled collaboration between Africans from different regions and linguistic areas on Internet aspects: for example, a steering committee was set up to oversee the preparation and implementation of AFRINIC, the African Internet Registry, currently based in Mauritius. She also pointed out ways for capacity building in Africa and has somewhat prepared African pioneers to understand the issues of internet governance, allowing them to access international debates on this topic.
This celebration is a commemoration of twenty years of Internet governance practice since its launch at the 1998 Forum of the African Internet Group. It aims first to recall and revive the spirit and work of the pioneers, and magnify their footprints. It will also allow, based on the progress made, to draw lessons from the various efforts made for the development of the Internet across the continent and to suggest ways for the future of the Internet in Africa.